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Table of Contents 


Title Page 

The Root ofChines Qigong 
Copyright Page 
Dedwation 

Acknowledgments — New Edition 

About the Author 

Romanization of Chinese Words 

Introduction 

Foreword 

Foreword 

Foreword 

Preface 

Preface 

PART ONE - General Introduction 


CHAPTER 1 - Introduction 


1-1. Prelude 

1-2. General Definition of Qi and Qigong 

1-3. About This Book 


CHAPTER 2 - History of Qigong 

2-1. Before the Han Dynasty (Before 206 B.C.) 

2-2. From the Han Dynasty to the Beginning of the Liang Dynasty (206 B.C.- 
502 ... 

2-3. From the Liang Dynasty to the End of the Qing Dynasty (502-1911 A.D.) 

2- 4. From the End of the Oing Dynasty to the Present 

CHAPTER 3 - Basic Concepts of Qigong 

3- 1. The Three Treasures - Jing. Qi. and Shen 

3-2. Yi and Xin 

3-3. Dan Tian 

3-4. Three Flowers Reach the Top (San Hua Ju Ding, 

3-5. Five Oi’s Toward Their Origins (Wu Qi Chao Yuan. 

CHAPTER 4 - Qi and the Human Body 


4-1. About Qi 

4-2. Qi and Bioelectromagnetic Energy 

4-3. Some Hypotheses 


4-4. Opening the Qi Gates 


CHAPTER 5 - Categories of Qigong 

5-1. Qigong and Religion 

5- 2. Categories of Qigong 

CHAPTER 6 - Qigong Theory 

6- 1. Introduction 

6-2. Wai Dan (External Elixir) 

6- 3. Nei Dan (Internal Elixir) 

PART TWO - General Keys to Qigong Training 
CHAPTER 7 - General Concepts 

7- 1. Introduction 

7-2. Building Qi 

7-3. Kan and Li 


CHAPTER 8 - Regulating the Body (Tiao Shen) 

8-1. Introduction 

8-2. Relaxation Theory 

8-3. Relaxation Practice 

8- 4. Rooting. Centering, and Balancing 

CHAPTER 9 - Regulating the Breath (Tiao Xi) 

9- 1. Breathing and Health 

9-2. Regulating the Breath 

9-3. The Different Methods of Qigong Breathing 

9-4. General Keys to Regulating Normal Breathing 

9- 5. Six Stages of Regulating the Breath 

CHAPTER 10 - Regulating the Emotional Mind (Tiao Xin) 

10- 1. Introduction 

10-2. Xin. Yi, and Nian 

10-3. Methods of Stopping Thought (Zhi Nian, ) 

10-4. Yi and Qi 

10-5. Yi and the Five Organs 

10- 6. Xin. Yi. and Shen 

CHAPTER 1 1 - Regulating the Essence (Tiao Jing) 

11- 1. Introduction 


11-2. Strengthening Your Kidneys 

11-3. Regulating the Essence (Tiao Jing, ) 


CHAPTER 12 - Regulating the Oi (Tiao Oi) 

12-1. Introduction 

12-2. What Oi Should be Regulated? 

12- 3. Regulating the Oi (Tiao Oi. ) 

CHAPTER 13 - Regulating the Spirit (Tiao Shen) 

13- 1. Introduction 

13- 2. Regulating the Spirit (Tiao Shen) 

CHAPTER 14 - Important Points in Qigong Practice 

14- 1. Introduction 

14-2. Common Experiences for Qigong Beginners 

14-3. Sensations Commonly Experienced in Still Meditation 

14-4. Deviations and Corrections 

14- 5. The Twenty-Four Rules for Qigong Practice 

PART THREE - The Oi Channels and Vessels 

CHAPTER 15 - General Concepts 

15- 1. Introduction 


CHAPTER 16 - The Twelve Primary Oi Channels 

16-1. Introduction 

16-2. The Twelve Primary Channels 

16- 3. Important Points 

CHAPTER 17 - The Eight Extraordinary Oi Vessels 

17- 1. Introduction 

17-2. The Eight Extraordinary Vessels 

PART FOUR - Conclusion 


CHAPTER 18 - One Hundred and One Questions 

About Essence 
About Oi and Bioenergy 
About Spirit (Shen) 

About Channels. Vessels, and Cavities 
About Mutual Oi Nourishment 


About Health and Longevity 
About Oi and Modern Living 
About the Human Magnetic Field 
Others 


CHAPTER 19 - Conclusion 

APPENDIX - Translation and Glossary of Chinese Terms 

Index 

Also by Dr. Yang, , , 








The Root of Chines Qigong 

Secret for Health, Longevity, & Enlightenment 

“...The Heart (Upper Burner, Fire) and the Kidney (Lower Burner, Water) keep each other in check and 
are dependent upon one another. The Spirit of the Heart and the essence of the Kidneys cooperate in 
establishing and maintaining human consciousness...” 


YMAA Publication Center 
Main Office: 

4354 Washington Street 
Roslindale, Massachusetts, 02131 
1-800-669-8892 www.ymaa.com ymaa@aol.com 


20 19 18 17 16 15 

Second Edition Copyright ©1989,1997 

ISBN-10: 1-886969-50-7 
ISBN-13: 978-1-886969-50-6 

All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. 


Publisher’s Cataloging in Publication 
(Prepared by Quality Books Inc.) 

Yang, Jwing-Ming, 1946- 

The root of Chinese qigong : secrets for health, longevity & enlightenment / by Jwing-Ming Yang. — 2nd ed. 

p. cm. — (Qigong — in depth) 

Includes biographical references and index. 

ISBN: 1-886969-50-7 

1. Ch’i kung. 2. Martial arts. 3. Alternative medicine. I. Title. 

RA781.8.Y36 1997 
613.7’14’8 
QB 197 -407 3 7 

Disclaimer: 

The authors and publisher of this material are NOT RESPONSIBLE in any manner whatsoever for any injury which may occur 

through reading or following the instructions in this manual. 

The activities, physical or otherwise, described in this material may be too strenuous or dangerous for some people, and the 
reader(s) should consult a physician before engaging in them. 

Printed in Canada 


Figures 3-1, 3-2, 4-9, 4-10, 4-11, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, 9-6, 10-1, and 11-9 are used by permission from the LifeART Collection of 

Images © 1989-1997 by Techpool Studios, Cleveland, OH. 


To My Brother Dr. Tim Chun-Chieh Yang 



Acknowledgments 


Thanks to A. Reza Farman-Farmaian for the photography, David Ripianzi, David Sollars, John 
Hughes, Jr. and James O’Leary, Jr. for proofing the manuscript and for contributing many valuable 
suggestions and discussions, to Dr. Guthiel for writing the foreword, to Wen-Ching Wu for drawings 
and general help, and to Sierra for drawings and the cover design. Special thanks to Alan Dougall 
and Eric Hoffman for editing. 



Acknowledgments — New Edition 


In this new edition, I would like to express my thanks to Tim Comrie and Mei-Ling Yang for general 
help, to Kain M. Sanderson and June-Marie Mahay for proofreading the manuscript, and to Andrew 
Murray for editing the new edition. Thanks also to Jerry Leake for typesetting, liana Rosenberg and 
David Lepp for the cover design and artwork, and Sarah Noack for her work with the Life ART 
images. Special thanks to Dr. Irwin H. Rosenberg and Daniel Reid for writing the forewords to this 
new edition. 



About the Author 


Yang, Jwing-Ming, Ph.D. 



Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming was born on August 11th, 1946, in Xinzhu 

Xian ( . Taiw ant ® $ .) Republic of China( + $ & ®)-He started his Wushuf ) ( (Gongfu or 

Kung Fu, J ^ A draining at the age of fifteen under Shaolin White Crane (Bai He,^ & ^ & ,)Master 
Cheng, Gin-Gsao( YMaster Cheng originally learned TaizuquanC £ ? £ #)from his grandfather 
when he was a child. When Master Cheng was fifteen years old, he started learning White Crane 
from Master Jin, Shao-Feng( & ^^.hand followed him for twenty-three years until Master Jin’s 
death. 

In thirteen years of study (1961-1974 A.D.) under Master Cheng, Dr. Yang became an expert in 
the White Crane style of Chinese martial arts, which includes both the use of barehands and of 
various weapons such as saber, staff, spear, trident, two short rods, and many other weapons. With 
the same master he also studied White Crane Qigong(. j-Qin Na (or Chin Na,^ % )<Tui 
NaC ^ £ )and Dian Xue massagest hand herbal treatment. 

At the age of sixteen, Dr. Yang began the study of Yang Style TaijiquanC^ A ^ Amder Master 
Kao Tao( ) After learning from Master Kao, Dr. Yang continued his study and research of 
Taijiquan with several masters and senior practitioners such as Master Li, Mao-Ching( ^ )and 
Mr. Wilson Chen( ft-Alv )i n TaipeiC ^ ^ ) Master Li learned his Taijiquan from the well- kn own 
Master Han, Ching-Tang( hand Mr. Chen learned his Taijiquan from Master Chang, Xiang- 

San(ft#-=-)T)r. Yang has mastered the Taiji barehand sequence, pushing hands, the two-man 
fighting sequence, Taiji sword, Taiji saber, and Taiji Qigong. 

When Dr. Yang was eighteen years old he entered Tamkang CollegeC Y ft ,)in Taipei Xian to 
study Physics. In college he began the study of traditional Shaolin Long Fist (Changquan or Chang 
Chuan A ^ )with Master Li, Mao-Ching at the Tamkang College Guoshu 

Club( i&Sz-S# it )'(1964-1968 A.D.), and eventually became an assistant instructor under Master Li. 


In 1971 he completed his M.S. degree in Physics at the National Taiwan UniversityC ,and 

then served in the Chinese Air Force from 1971 to 1972. In the service, Dr. Yang taught Physics at 
the Junior Academy of the Chinese Air ForceC £ & )while also teaching Wushu. After being 

honorably discharged in 1972, he returned to Tamkang College to teach Physics and resumed study 
under Master Li, Mao-Ching. From Master Li, Dr. Yang learned Northern Style Wushu, which 
includes both barehand (especially kicking) techniques and numerous weapons. 

In 1974, Dr. Yang came to the United States to study Mechanical Engineering at Purdue 
University. At the request of a few students, Dr. Yang began to teach Gongfu (Kung Fu), which 
resulted in the foundation of the Purdue University Chinese Kung Fu Research Club in the spring of 
1975. While at Purdue, Dr. Yang also taught college-credited courses in Taijiquan. In May of 1978 
he was awarded a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering by Purdue. 

In 1980, Dr. Yang moved to Houston to work for Texas Instruments. While in Houston he 
founded Yang’s Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, which was eventually taken over by his disciple Mr. 
Jeffery Bolt after he moved to Boston in 1982. Dr. Yang founded Yang’s Martial Arts Academy 
(YMAA) in Boston on October 1, 1982. 

In January of 1984 he gave up his engineering career to devote more time to research, writing, and 
teaching. In March of 1986 he purchased property in the Jamaica Plain area of Boston to be used as 
the headquarters of the new organization, Yang’s Martial Arts Association. The organization has 
continued to expand, and, as of July 1st 1989, YMAA has become just one division of Yang’s 
Oriental Arts Association, Inc. (YOAA, Inc). 

In summary, Dr. Yang has been involved in Chinese Wushu since 1961. During this time, he has 
spent thirteen years learning Shaolin White Crane (Bai He), Shaolin Long Fist (Changquan), and 
Taijiquan. Dr. Yang has more than twenty-eight years of instructional experience: seven years in 
Taiwan, five years at Purdue University, two years in Houston, Texas, and fourteen years in Boston, 
Massachusetts. 

In addition, Dr. Yang has also been invited to offer seminars around the world to share his 
knowledge of Chinese martial arts and Qigong. The countries he has visited include Canada, Mexico, 
France, Italy, Poland, England, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Holland, 
Latvia, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia. 

Since 1986, YMAA has become an international organization, which currently includes 30 
schools located in Poland, Portugal, France, Italy, Holland, Hungary, South Africa, the United 
Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. Many of Dr. Yang’s books and videotapes have been 
translated into languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Bulgarian, and Hungarian. 

Dr. Yang has published twenty -one other volumes on the martial arts and Qigong: 

1. Shaolin ChinNa; Unique Publications, Inc., 1980. 

2. Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu; Unique Publications, Inc., 1981. 

3. Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan; Unique Publications, Inc., 1981. 

4. Introduction to Ancient Chinese Weapons', Unique Publications, Inc., 1985. 

5. Chi Kung — Health and Martial Arts; YMAA Publication Center, 1985. 

6. Northern Shaolin Sword; YMAA Publication Center, 1985. 

7. Tai Chi Theory and Martial Power — Advanced Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan; 

YMAA Publication Center, 1986. 

8. Tai Chi Chuan Martial Applications — Advanced Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan; 

YMAA Publication Center, 1986. 

9. Analysis of Shaolin Chin Na; YMAA Publication Center, 1987. 

10. Eight Simple Qigong Exercises for Health — The Eight Pieces of Brocade; 

YMAA Publication Center, 1988 (formerly titled The Eight Pieces of Brocade). 



11. The Root of Chinese Qigong — The Secrets of Qigong Training ; YMAA 
Publication Center, 1989. 

12. Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Rung — The Secret of 
Youth ; YMAA Publication Center, 1989. 

13. Hsing Yi Chuan — Theory and Applications', YMAA Publication Center, 1990. 

14. The Essence ofTai Chi Chi Rung — Health and Martial Arts; YMAA Publication 
Center, 1990. 

15. Arthritis — The Chinese Way of Healing and Prevention; YMAA Publication 
Center, 1991. 

16. Chinese Qigong Massage — General Massage; YMAA Publication Center, 1992. 

17. How to Defend Yourself; YMAA Publication Center, 1992. 

18. Baguazhang — Etnei Baguazhang; YMAA Publication Center, 1994. 

19. Comprehensive Applications of Shaolin Chin Na - The Practical Defense of 
Chinese Seizing Arts; YMAA Publication Center, 1995. 

20. Taiji Chin Na — The Seizing Art ofTaijiquan; YMAA Publication Center, 1995. 

21. The Essence of Shaolin White Crane; YMAA Publication Center, 1996. 

22. Back Pain — Chinese Qigong for Healing and Prevention; YMAA Publication 
Center, 1996. 

Dr. Yang has also published the following videotapes: 

1. Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan and Its Applications; YMAA Publication Center, 1984. 

2. Shaolin Long Fist Rung Fu — Lien Bu Chuan and Its Applications; YMAA 
Publication Center, 1985. 

3. Shaolin Long Fist Rung Fu — Gung Li Chuan and Its Applications; YMAA 
Publication Center, 1986. 

4. Shaolin Chin Na; YMAA Publication Center, 1987. 

5. Wai Dan Chi Rung, Vol. 1 — The Eight Pieces of Brocade; YMAA Publication 
Center, 1987. 

6. Chi Rung for Tai Chi Chuan; YMAA Publication Center, 1990. 

7. Qigong for Arthritis; YMAA Publication Center, 1991. 

8. Qigong Massage — Self Massage; YMAA Publication Center, 1992. 

9. Qigong Massage — With a Partner; YMAA Publication Center, 1992. 

10. Defend Yourself 1 — Unarmed Attack; YMAA Publication Center, 1992. 

11. Defend Yourself 2 — Rnife Attack; YMAA Publication Center, 1992. 

12. Comprehensive Applications of Shaolin Chin Na 1; YMAA Publication Center, 
1995. 

13. Comprehensive Applications of Shaolin Chin Na 2; YMAA Publication Center, 
1995. 

14. Shaolin Long Fist Rung Fu — Yi Lu Mai Fu & Er Lu Mai Fu; YMAA Publication 
Center, 1995. 

15. Shaolin Long Fist Rung Fu — Shi Zi Tang; YMAA Publication Center, 1995. 

16. Taiji ChinNa; YMAA Publication Center, 1995. 

17. Emei Baguazhang — 1; Basic Training, Qigong, Eight Palms, and Applications; 
YMAA Publication Center, 1995. 

18. Emei Baguazhang — 2; Swimming Body Baguazhang and Its Applications; 
YMAA Publication Center, 1995. 

19. Emei Baguazhang — 3; Bagua Deer Hook Sword and Its Applications YMAA 
Publication Center, 1995. 



20. Xingyiquan — 12 Animal Patterns and Their Applications, YMAA Publication 
Center, 1995. 

21. 24 and 48 Simplified Taijiquan; YMAA Publication Center, 1995. 



Romanization of Chinese Words 


YMAA Publication Center uses the Pinyin romanization system of Chinese to English. Pinyin is 
standard in the People’s Republic of China, and in several world organizations, including the United 
Nations. Pinyin, which was introduced in China in the 1950’s, replaces the Wade-Giles and Yale 
systems. 

Some common conversions: 


Pinyin 

Also Spelled As 

Pronunciation 

Qi 

Chi 

Chee 

Qigong 

Chi Kung 

Chee Kung 

Qin Na 

Chin Na 

Chin Na 

Jin 

Jing 

Jin 

Gong! u 

Kung Fu 

Gong Foo 

Taijiquan 

Tai Chi Chuan 

Tai Jee Chuen 


For more complete conversion tables, please refer to the People’s Republic of China: 
Administrative Atlas, the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, or a contemporary manual of 
style. 


Introduction 


QigongC Xs the science of cultivating the body’s internal energy, which is called Qi( &Xn 
Chinese. The Chinese have been researching Qi for the last four thousand years, and have found 
Qigong to be an effective way to improve health and to cure many illnesses. Most important of all, 
however, they have found that it can help them to achieve both mental and spiritual peace. 

Until recently, Qigong training was usually kept secret, especially within martial arts systems or 
religions such as Buddhism and Daoism. Only acupuncture and some health-related Qigong 
exercises were available to the general public. During the last twenty years these secrets have 
become available to the general public through publications and open teaching. Medical 
professionals have finally been able to test Qigong more widely and scientifically, and they have 
found that it can help or cure a number of diseases that Western medicine has difficulty treating, 
including some forms of cancer. Many of my students and readers report that after practicing 
Qigong, they have changed from being weak to strong, from depressed to happy, and from sick to 
healthy. 

Since Qigong can bring so many benefits, I feel that it is my responsibility to collect the available 
published documents and compile them, filter them, understand them, and introduce them to those 
who cannot read them in their original Chinese. It is, however, impossible for one person alone to 
experience and understand the fruit of four thousand years of Qigong research. I hope that other 
Qigong experts will share this responsibility and publish the information that they have been taught, 
as well as what they have learned through research and experimentation. 

Even though Qigong has been researched in China for four thousand years, there are still many 
questions which can only be answered through recourse to today’s technology and interdisciplinary 
knowledge. Contemporary, enthusiastic minds will have plenty of opportunity to research and 
promote the art. This is not a job that can be done through one individual’s effort. It requires a group 
of experts including Western-style doctors, Qigong experts, acupuncturists, and equipment design 
specialists to sit down and work together and exchange their research results. A formal organization 
with adequate financial support will be needed. If this research is properly conducted, it should 
succeed not only in providing validation of Qigong for the Western mind, but it may also come up 
with the most efficient methods of practice. I feel certain that Qigong will become very popular in a 
short time, and bring many people a healthier and happier life. This is a new field for Western 
science, and it will need a lot of support to catch up to the research that has already been done in 
China. I hope sincerely that Qigong science will soon become one of the major research fields in 
colleges and universities in this country. 



Foreword 


First Edition 

When Nixon opened China to the West in the 1970’s, great interest was kindled in the possibilities 
of Americans learning many previously-hidden secrets of the “inscrutable” Orient. One of the realms 
of exploration most eagerly awaited, particularly by Western physicians, was the science of Oriental 
healing: exotic practices such as acupuncture, Shiatsu massage, Taijiquan, and the curious and 
puzzling notion of Qi, or vital energy. Popular magazines at the time featured arresting photographs 
of men and women lying calmly on operating tables, nearly disemboweled during major surgery, yet 
apparently requiring no more anesthesia than a few gleaming needles thrust into the skin of their 
foreheads. 

Since these earliest dramatic harbingers, serious investigation of phenomena based on Chinese 
conceptualizations have both waxed and waned. Interest in Taijiquan, for example — a form of 
exercise, health maintenance, and combat — has risen steadily, especially in the western United 
States, stimulated in part by the fact that a large part of the Chinese citizenry practice this exercise 
daily to apparently good effect, and in part by the fact that Taijiquan masters, who regularly win 
mixed martial arts tournaments, seem to become better with age, rather than slower and weaker as do 
aging practitioners of other martial forms such as Gongfu. 

In contrast, after a spate of studies and articles attempting to define the physiologic bases for the 
generally unchallenged efficacy of acupuncture, interest in this area has waned markedly. Most early 
investigators tended toward the beliefs either that some form of suggestibility was involved, like that 
of hypnosis, another time-honored and effective anesthetic; or else that some known neural 
mechanism was being employed, such as “gating,” where stimulation of some nerves with 
acupuncture needles functionally blocked impulses (presumably pain impulses) in others. 

At the present time in the public mind a mixed feeling, an ambivalence, seems to hold sway, 
between forces of acceptance and of resistance toward these oriental concepts. To place the value of 
the present book in some perspective, therefore, it will be useful to understand these opposing forces. 

The current forces tending toward acceptance of Chinese healing theory and practice draw from 
multiple origins. The first is the upsurge of interest in physical fitness. A few years ago the “high 
energy, high effort” fitness wave swept over the country; thousands of formerly sedentary 
individuals ran, jogged, danced, pumped and stretched in search of greater health and strength or, at 
least, an improved silhouette. Then, as many would-be athletes nursed injured or over-strained 
muscles, bones and joints, interest in “low-impact” exercise surfaced. Ironically, Qigong practices 
were already providing this valuable type of conditioning centuries ago. Thus, the Westerner 
familiar with low-impact aerobics can readily understand the value of Qigong forms. 

A second force tending toward acceptance is the average person’s awareness of the link between 
mind and body; the concept of psychosomatic illness — mental conditions causing physical illnesses 
— is familiar from the popular press, from the revelations of celebrities and from everyone’s 
personal experience of tension headaches, stress ulcers, and the like. In a comparable fashion, some 
recent investigations by Herbert Benson, M.D. and others on the beneficial physical effects of mental 
calmness (as in the “relaxation response”) have given solid support to the power of mental states to 
heal or harm. Thus the emphasis in Qigong practice on mental conditioning as a prerequisite and 
companion to physical improvement is not so foreign a notion at all. 

On the other side of the ledger, certain factors tend to elicit resistance to these Eastern teachings 
and disbelief in both their relevance to modern persons and their scientific validity. One such factor 
is the radical interweaving in Qigong of what purports to be an essentially physiologic theory with 



philosophy and even religion or cosmology. Westerners used to partaking of their philosophy and 
science at separate tables may be alienated by their frank combination in Qigong principles. 

A second factor is the absence at the present time of a “hard-science” physiology for Qi, its vessels 
and its actions. Some provocative preliminary findings have emerged correlating alterations in 
electric impedance in the skin at those points thought to be significant as acupuncture meridians and 
points; yet, alas, careful and replicable research with impeccable methodology has largely been 
lacking in this area. Instead, dubiously convincing, largely anecdotal material dominates the written 
works on the subject. 

Another factor causing resistance is the tendency of writers in this field, following very ancient 
traditions and philosophical themes, to use the names of familiar body organs to describe conditions 
of the body related to Qi for which no other terminology exists. The Western reader becomes lost in 
the question of whether such phrases as “weakness of the liver” are meant to be metaphoric (that is, 
meaning, more literally, “a certain condition of bodily energy, otherwise indescribable, which affects 
those body sites which historical tradition has identified with the liver”); or whether the reader 
should, indeed, look to the condition of the actual liver to find some form of pathology, for which no 
clear picture comes to mind, since the liver performs so many different functions that “weakness” 
conveys nothing meaningful. 

Finally, many Westerners appear to be put off by the inherently poetic and metaphoric 
terminology common in Chinese nomenclature for, say, types of Qi and physical exercise 
techniques. To pick one example, a particular stance in Shaolin style Gongfu is called “Golden 
Rooster Stands on One Leg”; such flowery language can have a jarring effect on the Westerner who 
is accustomed to such mundane descriptions as “side deltoid stretch.” 

For the Westerner who can bridge the gap between Western and Oriental conceptualizations, this 
book (and, indeed, the planned series) offers an exceptionally valuable resource in summarizing in a 
clear and straightforward way the historical development of this ancient field of learning. Through 
his exhaustive efforts to bring together ancient and more recent Chinese texts in this book, Dr. Yang 
has performed essential services in two ways. First, by tracing the history and evolution of these 
concepts, the reader can gain a sense of the development of ideas whose roots reach back over the 
centuries — ideas which are desperately in need of just such cross-cultural illumination as this book 
provides. Second, Dr. Yang is issuing a challenge to others to bring the focus of careful research to 
this area to provide a durable empirical basis for both theory and practice of these sciences and arts. 
For both of these important steps, clearly, the time has come. 


Thomas G. Gutheil, M.D. 
Associate Professor of Psychiatry 
Harvard Medical School 



Foreword 


New Edition 

As much of the world undergoes fundamental re-evaluation of methods and goals of health care in 
the face of the growing wave of older citizens, there has never been such openness to expanding our 
concepts of treatment and health promotion. The wisdom and experience of Eastern healing 
traditions, accumulated and enriched over millennia, is brilliantly presented in this text on Qigong. 
These Eastern healing traditions have added to the growing recognition that proper exercise is 
essential to health maintenance and amelioration of disease, and have expanded the scope and 
definition of healing. Perhaps, most importantly in the West, we are learning humility about the 
limits as well as the genius of Western scientifically-based medical techniques in relation to Eastern 
practices and learning. 

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming is a rare teacher/treasure who bridges the gap between Western science and 
the highest traditions of Eastern healing. This book on Qigong — literally the study, research, and 
practices related to Qi the energy circulating in our bodies and in the universe — is an accessible 
expression of the Chinese approach to the fusion of concepts of body and mind. The book is also a 
practical guide to the devoted trainee or practitioner of Qigong and Taijiquan. 

The Root of Chinese Qigong is an archive which will help preserve as well as expand the use of 
time-honored healing traditions. In both the West and East, we are in Dr. Yang’s debt for this 
definitive guide to better health and well-being. 


Irwin 

H. 

Rosenberg, 

M.D. 

Professor 

of 

Medicine 

and 

Nutrition 

Director of The 

Center on Aging, Tufts University 

Human 

Nutrition 

Research 



Foreword 


New Edition 

Qigong is an ancient art and science of health care and energy management that has been practiced 
continuously in China for at least 5,000 years. Formerly reserved exclusively for members of the 
imperial family and aristocracy as a secret practice for preserving health and prolonging life, and for 
the most advanced adepts of Daoist and Buddhist sects as a means of attaining spiritual immortality, 
Qigong has in recent years become available to the general public as a simple but profoundly 
effective method of self health care. While Western medical science continues to question the very 
existence of Qi (energy) as a factor in human health, millions of people throughout the world have 
already begun to experience the power of Qigong both for curing disease and for preventing it, as 
well as for enhancing overall vitality, achieving emotional and mental equilibrium, and cultivating 
spiritual awareness. 

Modern physics has already established the fact that all matter in the universe, from atoms and 
molecules to planets and stars, ultimately consists of nothing more or less than energy vibrating at 
various frequencies and in particular patterns of relationship. That energy, which is the fundamental 
“stuff’ of the universe is what the Chinese refer to as “Qi.” Qigong therefore is a system whereby 
each and every individual may learn to work with the energies of the body, the planet, and the 
cosmos itself, in order to achieve the optimum state of balance and harmony upon which health and 
longevity depend. 

The Root of Chinese Qigong is one of the first books to explore the nature of Qi and explain the 
ancient practice of Qigong in the light of modern science while still remaining faithful to the original 
Daoist principles that gave birth to this profound system of health care and spiritual cultivation. 
Indeed, the author has clearly demonstrated that Qigong is based entirely on scientific principles of 
energy that were known to the ancient Daoist masters who developed it long before Einstein first 
informed Western science that energy and matter are relative and transmutable elements. 

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming is uniquely qualified to explore the topic of Qigong in terms of Western 
thought. Backed by over thirty years of personal experience as both a practitioner and teacher of 
Qigong, trained in classical forms by traditional masters in Taiwan, and the founder of a school in 
America that transmits this ancient practice to contemporary Western students, Dr. Yang has gained 
full command of both the classical Daoist principles and the modern science concepts required to 
elucidate this traditional Chinese practice in a way that is meaningful to contemporary readers 
without a prior background in Chinese studies. What distinguishes The Root of Chinese Qigong 
from so many other books that have appeared in recent years on the same subject is the scientific 
validity he bestows on the principles of Qigong practice, the simplicity and clarity of language used 
to present the traditional ideas involved, and the concurrent adherence to the original spirit, or “root” 
of Qigong in ancient China. 

The West has long given lip service to the idea of imposing “mind over matter” but has never 
developed an effective method whereby this goal may be accomplished. That’s because Western 
thought divided body and mind into two mutually exclusive realms. Matters of the body were 
approached either chemically or mechanically, while the mind became the domain of religion and 
later psychology. Traditional Eastern thought has always cited a third, pivotal element in the human 
system, and that element is energy, known as prana in ancient India, and Qi in China. Qi is the bridge 
that links body and mind into an integrated and functional system, and it is the medium through 
which the mind may gain command over the body. The method whereby the medium of energy may 
be utilized to gain control over the body is Qigong, or “energy- work.” 



According to the Daoist tradition of China, the Three Treasures of life are essence (the essential 
secretions of the body), energy (the vital energies that animate the body and may be controlled by 
proper breathing), and spirit (awareness, intent, and the various facilities of the mind). When these 
three aspects of existence are brought into balance and harmony, the health of the entire organism is 
protected and life prolonged. Qigong is the fulcrum of balance between the body and mind, with 
energy serving as the common force upon which both depend. Energy is also the medium through 
which the powers of nature and the cosmos enter and influence the human system, and Qigong 
provides a way whereby the practitioner may synchronize his or her system in order to harness those 
powers to promote human health and support human life. 

For those who are interested in learning the basic concepts and practical applications of Qigong as 
a means of cultivating health and longevity, The Root of Chinese Qigong provides an excellent and 
comprehensive overview on the subject, a view that will no doubt awaken the reader’s mind to the 
importance of energy as the most fundamental fact of life. 


Daniel 




Author 

of 

The 

Complete 

Chinese 


Health 


The 

Tao 

of Health, 

Sex, 

and Chinese Herbal Medicine 



Reid 

Book of 

Healing, 

and Longevity, 



Preface 


First Edition 

Since my first Qigong book Chi Kung — Health and Martial Arts appeared, I have received many 
compliments and thank-you’s, as well as numerous questions, and many valuable suggestions from 
doctors, readers with medical problems, and the general public. This has led me to believe that my 
introductory book has opened the door to Qigong for many people, and has brought health benefits 
to more than a few. This response has encouraged me to continue my research and publishing. 
However, most of my Qigong experience and knowledge was obtained through my Taiji and Shaolin 
practice, and was therefore limited to a few Daoist and Buddhist Qigong exercises, as well as some 
of the common Qigong exercises which are popular in China. Because of this limitation in my 
Qigong knowledge, I have spent a lot of time analyzing, researching, pondering, and experimenting 
with many other Qigong styles about which I have read in my collection of Qigong documents. This 
research has greatly increased my knowledge. 

In August of 1986 I had a chance to go back to Taiwan to visit my family. This visit also gave me 
the opportunity to see what Qigong documents had been published since I left Taiwan in 1974. To 
my surprise, there are a great many new publications available. I was so happy to learn that many 
documents had been published which described training techniques heretofore kept secret. With my 
brother’s encouragement and financial support, I was able to purchase all of the expensive 
documents which I found worthwhile. Once I returned to the United States, I started to read and 
study them, and to experiment with some of the methods. These documents made me realize how 
limited my knowledge was, and opened up a whole new field of Qigong study for me. 

In my excitement and enthusiasm I decided to compile them, filter out the parts which seemed 
questionable, and introduce the results to my readers. An unfortunate problem arose in that most of 
the documents explain what to do, but do not explain why, and some will even just tell the process 
without explaining how to do it. Despite the obstacles, I decided to try my best, through research and 
contemplation, to determine the secrets of the techniques. 

After two years of research and experimentation, I feel that it will take at least five years and eight 
volumes of introductory books to initiate the reader into the broad field of Chinese Qigong. 
Although these eight volumes will be based on the documents available to me, they will not be direct 
translations of these documents, except for the ancient poetry or songs which are the root of the 
training. This approach is necessary simply because these documents do not have any systematic 
introduction or way of tying everything together. What I can do is read them and study them 
carefully. Then I can compile and organize the information, and discuss it carefully in the light of my 
own Qigong knowledge and experience. 

This approach will allow me to cautiously bring long-concealed Qigong knowledge to the reader. 
The only thing lacking is the experience. Many of the methods require more than twenty years of 
training to complete, and I would have to spend more than three lifetimes studying the various 
methods before I could discuss them with authority. I realize that it is impossible for me alone to 
introduce the results of four thousand years of Qigong research with these eight books, but I would 
still like to share the knowledge which I have gained from these documents, and the conclusions 
which I have drawn from my training. Please take these books in the tentative spirit in which they are 
written, and not as a final authority or bible. I sincerely hope that many other Qigong experts will 
step forward and share the traditional teachings which were passed down to them, as well as the 
fruits of their experience. 



At present, the following books are planned: 

1. The Root of Chinese Qigong — The Secrets of Qigong Training 

2. Muscle/Ti endon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong — The Secret of 

Youth (Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing\& ® ) 

3. Chinese Qigong Massage — Qigong Tui Na and Cavity Press for Healing (Qigong 
An Mo and Qigong Dian Xue)C&^ S* Jk) 

4. Qigong and Health — For Healing and Maintaining Health 

5. Qigong and Martial Arts — The Key to Advanced Martial Arts Skill (Shaolin, 
Wudang, Emei, and others) 

6. Buddhist Qigong — Chan, The Root of Zen( 7 * ) 

7. Daoist Qigong (Dan Ding Dao Gong). ^ ) 

8. Tibetan Qigong (Mi Zang Shen Gong)C ® ) 

In this first volume we will discuss the roots of Chinese Qigong by dividing them into four parts. 
The first part will introduce the history of Qigong, the basic concepts and terminology commonly 
used in Qigong society and documents, the different Qigong categories, and will discuss Qi and the 
human body, and fundamental Qigong training theory and principles. This first part will give you a 
general concept of what Qigong is, and the various subjects that it includes. The second part will 
discuss the general keys to Qigong training, and give you the foundation of knowledge necessary for 
successful practice. This part serves as a map of the what and the how of Qigong training, so that you 
can choose your goal and the best way to get there. The third part will review the Qi circulatory 
system in your body, which includes the twelve primary Qi channels and the eight extraordinary Qi 
vessels. This part will give you a better understanding of how Qi circulates in your body. Finally, the 
fourth part of the book will list some of the many questions about Qigong which still remain 
unanswered. 

The second volume in this series will cover Yi Jin and Xi Sui Qigong, which are translated as 
“Muscle/Tendon Changing” and “Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong.” Marrow/Brain Washing is deep, 
and difficult to understand. It has been found in documents detailing both Buddhist and Daoist 
Qigong and meditation training, and it has been known in China since the Liang dynasty, more than 
fourteen hundred years ago. Because, however, the training usually involves stimulation of the 
sexual organs, it has traditionally been passed down only to a few trusted students. 

In addition to the eight in-depth books, YMAA is also introducing a series of instructional books 
and videotapes on specific Qigong exercise sets. This series is designed for people who want to learn 
exercises that they can do on their own to improve or maintain their health. These books and tapes 
will be easy to understand both in theory and in practice. The first book and tape are on The Eight 
Pieces of Brocade, one of China’s most popular Qigong sets. 



Preface 


New Edition 

Since 1989, when this book was first introduced to the public, more than thirty thousand copies 
have been sold. This is better than I originally expected. The reason for this is simply because the 
subject of Qigong was still very new to Western readers, even though it has been studied and 
practiced in China, Japan, and India for many thousands of years. Therefore, the market is very small 
and restricted to those already interested in Chinese culture. In addition, this book is considered to be 
an in-depth theoretical treatise on Qigong. It is like a piece of classical music, instead of rock music, 
which can be understood and accepted easily by the general society. 

Qigong today, like Taijiquan in the early 1980’ s, is being understood and welcomed in the West. I 
believe that there are a few reasons for this. First, since President Nixon visited mainland China in 
1973 and opened the gates to the nation, there has been more and more culture exchange between 
China and the West. The Western world has a better understanding of Chinese culture. This has 
agitated and stimulated many Westerners to take an interest in Chinese culture, study it, and accept 
it. Second, Chinese acupuncture and Qigong healing techniques have been widely accepted. 
Alternative medicine, as it was originally called, is now considered to be “complimentary medicine.” 
Finally, the general public is more open minded, and the bondage of tradition, especially religious 
tradition, has been reduced to its lowest point ever. This open-minded attitude has generated great 
interest in foreign cultures. 

Since 1989, 1 have written and published 10 more books and 15 videotapes to introduce Chinese 
culture to the Western society. YOAA, Inc. (Yang’s Oriental Arts Association, Inc.) was established 
to expedite this cultural exchange. YMAA Publication Center is the division that handles the 
publications. In addition, YMAA has also established more than 30 schools and three publication 
centers in Europe to translate these books into non-English languages. Currently, many YMAA 
books have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Russian, and 
Czech. 

In 1989 when this book was written, I had a dream of introducing in-depth Qigong books to the 
West. The books I wanted to write include: 

1. The Root of Chinese Qigong — The Secrets of Qigong Training 

2. Muscle/Ti endon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Rung — The Secret of 
Youth (Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing) (. h $ 

3. Chinese Qigong Massage — Qigong Tui Na and Cavity Press for Healing (Qigong 
An Mo and Qigong Dian Xue)( fc. dt && * & $ » * ) 

4. Qigong and Health — For Healing and Maintaining Health 

5. Qigong and Martial Arts — The Key to Advanced Martial Arts Skill (Shaolin, 
Wudang, Emei, and others) 

6. Buddhist Qigong — Chan, The Root of Zen!. A ) 

7. Daoist Qigong (Dan Ding Dao Gong)( fl 1 A $ ) 

8. Tibetan Qigong (Mi Zang Shen Gong)C $ *4#^ ) 

This is the first of those books. The second, Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain 
Washing Chi Rung, was also published in 1989. The first half of the Chinese Qigong Massage, 
General Massage, was published in 1992. The second half, about Tui Na, Dian Xue, and Qi massage, 
is still being written. Qigong and Health has not yet been started. Qigong and Martial Arts has been 
written under the title: The Essence of Shaolin White Crane, which was published in 1996. Buddhist 



Qigong and Tibetan Qigong have not yet been started. Currently, I am working on Daoist Qigong 
which will be published as two new titles: Small Circulation Meditation and Grand Circulation and 
Enlightenment Meditation. I plan to complete these two volumes by 1999. The writing process is 
slow and time consuming. This is especially significant since almost all of the Qigong documents 
were released to the general public in the last ten years, both in China and Taiwan. This has provided 
me with ten-fold the amount of information. Naturally, this has also offered me a greater chance to 
make the future books more complete and in-depth. 

There is another reason for the slow progress. The market for the in-depth books, especially those 
that relate to inner Qigong feelings and spiritual cultivation, is very limited. In order to prevent any 
financial difficulty in the publication business, I have also put a lot of time and effort into writing 
other smaller introductory books for Qigong healing and martial arts. As I pointed out in the original 
preface, the translation and interpretation of the Qigong from Chinese to English is not easy. We will 
need an organization that has strong financial support and many Qigong experts to do the job. I will 
just try my best to contribute what I can. I sincerely hope that the government, universities, or 
private organizations will sponsor this project to expedite this Qigong cultural exchange. 

In this new edition, some new concepts have been added and some old concepts have been 
deleted. Not only that, for those readers who understand, the Chinese characters are immediately 
included in the text when the Chinese is mentioned. In addition, when this book was written, the 
Chinese romanization system called Pinyin was not yet popular. Therefore, an older system was 
used. However, Pinyin is now widely used in the West in both scholastic and lay societies, so this 
book follows the Pinyin romanization system. In addition, new typesetting has been done to make 
this book easier to read. Finally, the glossary and translation of Chinese terms have been combined, 
and an index has been added. 



Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming Boston, January 15, 1997 



PART ONE 


General Introduction 



CHAPTER 1 


Introduction 



1-1. Prelude 


In their seven thousand years of history, the Chinese people have experienced all possible human 
suffering and pain. Chinese culture is like a very old man who has seen and experienced all of the 
pain of human life. Yet through his experience, he has also accumulated a great store of knowledge. 
Chinese culture, as reflected in its literature and painting, ranks among the greatest achievements of 
the human spirit. It reflects humankind’s joy and grief, pleasure and suffering, peace and strife, 
vitality, sickness, and death. 

Within this complex cultural and historical background, the Chinese people have long sought 
ways of living healthy and happy lives. However, as they looked for ways to better themselves and 
seek spiritual fulfillment, they have also tended to believe that everything that happens is due to 
destiny, and that it is prearranged by heaven. Despite this fatalistic belief, they have still looked for 
ways to resist the apparent inevitability of sickness and death. 

The Chinese have devoted a large part of their intellectual effort to self-study and self-cultivation 
in the hope of understanding the meaning of their lives. This inward-feeling and looking, this 
spiritual searching, has become one of the major roots of Chinese religion and medical science. Qi, 
the energy within the human body, was studied very carefully. As people perceived the link between 
the Qi in the human body and the Qi in nature, they began to hope that this Qi was the means 
whereby man could escape from the trap of sickness and death. Over the years, many different 
sectors of Chinese society have studied and researched Qi. 

Of all the researchers, the scholars and the doctors have had the longest history, and they have 
brought the understanding of Qi to a very deep level. It was they who learned the methods of 
maintaining health and curing sickness. Chinese medical science has developed out of the Qi 
research of the physicians. 

When Indian Buddhism was imported into China, it profoundly influenced Chinese culture. 
Naturally, Chinese Qigong was also affected by the Buddhist meditative practices. The Daoist 
religion was created out of a mixture of traditional scholarly Daoism and Buddhism. Since that time, 
Buddhist and Daoist Qigong have been considered among the greatest achievements of Chinese 
culture. 

Daoism and Buddhism have not only brought the Chinese people a peaceful, spiritual mind which 
may untie the mystery of human life and destiny, they have also created a hope that the development 
of Qigong may give people a healthy and happy life while they are alive, and an eternal spiritual life 
after death. When viewed from this historical background, it is not hard to understand why a major 
part of Chinese culture in the last two thousand years, other than warfare and possibly medical 
science, were based on the religions of Daoism and Buddhism, and spiritual science. 

The emphasis on the spiritual life, rather than the material, is one of the major differences between 
Eastern and the Western cultures. An example of this is in the maintenance of health, where the West 
emphasizes the physical body more, while the East tends to also treat the person’s spiritual and 
mental health. 

Most Westerners believe that if you strengthen your physical body, you also improve your health. 
They emphasize the exercising and training of the physical body, but they ignore the balancing of the 
body’s internal energy (Qi), which is also related to the emotions and the cultivation of spiritual 
calmness. Daoists call this “Cong Wai Jian Gong”(^^^^)(building the strength externally) or 
“Yuan Xin Zhi Wai Gong Yun Dong”( it ^ ^ $4 ) (distant mind’s external exercises, meaning 
“external exercises without mental concentration or attention”). 

People who exercise a lot and whose bodies are externally strong are not necessarily healthier or 



happier than the average person. In order to have true good health you must have a healthy body, a 
healthy mind, and also smooth and balanced Qi circulation. According to Chinese medicine, many 
illnesses are caused by imbalances in your mind. For example, worry and nervousness can upset your 
stomach or harm your spleen. 1 Fear or fright can hinder the normal functioning of your kidneys and 
bladder. This is because your internal energy (Qi circulation) is closely related to your mind. In order 
to be truly healthy, you must have both a healthy physical body and a calm and healthy mind. True 
good health is both external and internal. 

When someone gets involved in body building, he will emphasize building strong muscles. 
According to acupuncture and Qigong theory, he will also energize his body, stimulate his mind, and 
increase the level of the Qi circulation. If he trains properly, he will naturally gain physical health. 
However, if he exercises too much, he will over energize his body and over-excite his mind and Qi. 
This will make his physical body too Yang (positive). According to Chinese philosophy, too much of 
something is excessive Yang(. )and too little is excessive Yin(& )<and neither extreme is desirable. 
When your body is too Yang or too Yin, your internal organs will tend to weaken and to degenerate 
sooner than they ordinarily would. A person who seems to be externally strong and healthy may be 
weak internally. 

In addition, when a body builder gets older, his over-stressed muscle fibers may lose their 
elasticity and degenerate faster than those of the average person. This causes the Qi to stagnate in the 
Qi channels. This phenomenon is well known among older practitioners of external martial arts, 
where it is called “San Gong”C‘ft^ .) meaning “energy dispersion.” The proper amount of exercise 
will generate only enough Qi to stimulate the organs and help them function normally and healthily. 
Overdoing exercise is like getting too much sunshine, which we now know will cause your skin cells 
to degenerate faster than the lack of sun. 

Qigong practitioners believe that in order to gain real health you must not only do external 
exercises, but must also “Cong Nei Zhu Ji”(& ^ \bui Id the foundation internally), or do “Xiang 
Xin Zhi Nei Gong Yun Dong”C^ ,4f ^^ ^3fe)(literally “toward the mind’s internal exercise,” 
meaning internal exercise with mental concentration). Strengthening yourself internally and 
externally at the same time is called “Xing Ming Shuang Xiu”( I* -Xing means natural 

characteristics, personality, temperament, or disposition. It is shown internally. Ming is life, and 
refers to the life or death of the physical body. Shuang Xiu means double cultivation. The expression 
therefore means that if you desire to gain real health, you must cultivate your character internally and 
strengthen your body both internally and externally. The internal side is approached through 
meditation and Qigong exercises. 

Many people believe that Qigong is a product only of China, India, or other Oriental countries. As 
a matter of fact, internal energy cultivation has also been common in the Western world, usually 
within the context of religion. Many people have been able to find their internal foundation and 
strength through meditation or praying in their church, temple, or mosque. Through their devotions 
and the practice of prayer, they are able to build up their concentration, confidence, and will, all of 
which are prerequisites to internal strength. The practice of such disciplines allows the energy in the 
body to become balanced, bringing health and strength to some, and even, in some cases, seemingly 
supernatural powers. Jesus is credited with many miracles, but he told his disciples “He that 
believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do,” 
(John 14:12). All of the major Western religions have had branches or sects which used practices 
similar to the Oriental Qigong disciplines. 

However, there have also been people without any particular religious belief who have meditated 
by themselves and, through the buildup and circulation of Qi, developed psychic or healing abilities. 
Unfortunately, in earlier times such people were often killed as witches or heretics, so people who 
found they had such powers tended to view themselves as freaks or worse, and hid their powers. 


These negative attitudes only kept people from researching and understanding such abilities. 

Many people in China and India have developed amazing powers through their meditation 
training. Fortunately, these powers were understood as being a result of Qigong, and so people were 
encouraged to train and research the subject. Although Qigong is becoming a more acceptable 
subject in the West, the Chinese and Indians are still way ahead in this internal mental and physical 
science. 

Since 1973, acupuncture has been widely accepted by the American people, and even by many in 
the medical establishment. More and more people are becoming familiar with the concept of Qi. Qi 
related arts such as Taijiquan and Qigong exercises are getting much more attention than ever before. 
Many people are learning that the study of Qi can be very beneficial, and I feel certain that in the 
next twenty years Qigong will become one of the hottest fields of research. 



1-2. General Definition of Qi and Qigong 


Before we define Qi and Qigong, you should understand that so far, there is no one scientific 
definition of Qi which is accepted generally by Qigong practitioners and Chinese medical society. 
The way people define Qi varies, depending upon their individual background and experience. Some 
people think Qi is an electric energy, others believe that it is a magnetic energy, and many others 
believe that Qi is heat or some other type of energy. However, anyone who has carefully researched 
the historical background of Qi would not define it by any one of these narrow definitions. 

It is the same with Qigong. Qigong is often narrowly thought of as only exercises or meditations 
which can be used to improve one’s health or to cure sickness. In fact, however, the range of Qigong 
and the scope of its research is much wider. You should understand this point so you will be able to 
view Qi and Qigong in an accurate and open way. 

In this section we will discuss the general definition of Qi and Qigong. Specific terms concerning 
Qi and Qigong which are directly related to the human body will be discussed later in a separate 
section. 



General Def inition of Qi 


Qi is the energy or natural force which fills the universe. Heaven (the sky or universe) has Heaven 
Qi (Tian Qi,^*- )- which is made up of the forces which the heavenly bodies exert on the earth, such 
as sunshine, moonlight, and the moon’s affect on the tides. In ancient times, the Chinese believed 
that it was Heaven Qi which controlled the weather, climate, and natural disasters. In China, the 
weather is still referred to as Tian Qi (Heaven Qi). Every energy field strives to stay in balance, so 
whenever the Heaven Qi loses its balance, it tries to rebalance itself. Then the wind must blow, rain 
must fall, even tornadoes or hurricanes must happen in order for the Heaven Qi to reach a new 
energy balance. 

Under Heaven Qi, which is the most important of the three, is Earth Qi (Di Qi, J - : ' ^ )-It is 
influenced and controlled by Heaven Qi. For example, too much rain will force a river to flood or 
change its path. Without rain, the plants will die. The Chinese believe that Earth Qi is made up of 
lines and patterns of energy, as well as the earth’s magnetic field and the heat concealed 
underground. These energies must also balance, otherwise disasters such as earthquakes will occur. 
When the Qi of the earth is balanced, plants will grow and animals thrive. 

Finally, within the Earth Qi, each individual person, animal, and plant has its own Qi field, which 
always seeks to be balanced. When any individual thing loses its Qi balance, it will sicken, die, and 
decompose. All natural things, including man, grow within and are influenced by the natural cycles 
of Heaven Qi and Earth Qi. Human Qi (Ren Qi, A & )is usually considered a separate type of Qi, 
different from the Qi of the earth, and of plants and animals. The reason for this is simply that 
because we are human, we are particularly concerned with Human Qi, and have devoted a great deal 
of study to it. 

Qi can be generally defined as any type of energy which is able to demonstrate power and 
strength. This energy can be electricity, magnetism, heat, or light. In China, electric power is called 
“Dian Qi” (electric Qi,'" j ^ )<and heat is called “Re Qi” (heat Qi,"' 1-When a person is alive, his 
body’s energy is called “Ren Qi” (human Qi,^ )■ 

Qi is also commonly used to express the energy state of something, especially living things. As 
mentioned before, the weather is called “Tian Qi” (heaven Qi) because it indicates the energy state of 
the heavens. When a thing is alive it has “Huo Qi” (vital Qi, ^ )-and when it is dead it has “Si Qi” 
(dead QiAfl or “Gui Qi” (ghost Qi/ : ''- ' ; )-When a person is righteous and has the spiritual strength to 
do good, he is said to have “Zheng Qi” (normal Qi or righteous Qi," )-The spiritual state or morale 
of an army is called “Qi Shi” (energy state/'’"' )■ 

You can see that the word Qi has a wider and more general definition than most people think. It 
does not refer only to the energy circulating in the human body. Furthermore, the word “Qi” can 
represent the energy itself, and it can also be used to express the manner or state of the energy. It is 
important to understand this when you practice Qigong, so that your mind is not channeled into a 
narrow understanding of Qi, which would limit your future understanding and development. 



General Definition of Qigong 


We have explained that Qi is energy, and that it is found in the heavens, in the earth, and in every 
living thing. In China, the word “Gong” is often used instead of “Gongfu,” which means energy and 
time. Any study or training which requires a lot of energy and time to learn or to accomplish is called 
Gongfu. The term can be applied to any special skill or study as long as it requires time, energy, and 
patience. Therefore, the correct definition of Qigong is any training or study dealing with Qi which 
takes a long time and a lot of effort. 

The Chinese have studied Qi for thousands of years. Some of the information on the patterns and 
cycles of nature has been recorded in books, one of which is the Yi Jing(. & & )'(Book of Changes; 
1 122 B.C.). When the Yi Jing was introduced to the Chinese people, they believed that natural power 
included Tian (Heaven,*- )<Di ( Earth, ^ "band Ren (Man,^ ..'-These are called “San Cai” (The Three 
Natural Powers,- 21 ^ )and are manifested by the three Qi’s: Heaven Qi, Earth Qi, and Human Qi 
(Figure 1-1). These three facets of nature have their definite rules and cycles. The rules never 
change, and the cycles repeat periodically. The Chinese people used an understanding of these 
natural principles and the Yi Jing to calculate the changes of natural Qi. This calculation is called 
“Bagua” (The Eight Trigrams A # )-From the Eight Trigrams are derived the 64 hexagrams. 
Therefore, the Yi Jing was probably the 

Figure 1-1. The three Qi’s of Heaven, Earth, and Man 




Heaven Qi (Han- 0 \\ 


EartM Qi (Dfi GiJ 


Health -in<l Longevity; l i 

1. Ufri’D<»n \ 

2. Pf#f D<\n V, 

3. Enlighrenm^nl or BudeThahood 


Fortune Telling 


G*o ma ncy 


Healing: 

1. AeupUnCSurt 

2. Herbal Treatment 
J- MAHa^e 

4. Acupressure 


Partial Arts: 

1 . Iron Shirt 

2. Iron Sand Palm 

3 . Cavity Press 


first book which taught the Chinese people about Qi and its variations in nature and man. The 
relationship of the Three Natural Powers and their Qi variations were later discussed extensively in 
the book Qi Hua Lun (Theory of Qi’s Variation,®.^ & )■ 

Understanding Heaven Qi is very difficult, however, and it was especially so in ancient times 
when the science was just developing. But since nature is always repeating itself, the experience 
accumulated over the years has made it possible to trace the natural patterns. Understanding the rules 
and cycles of “Tian Shi” (heavenly timing,-^ .(will help you to understand natural changes of the 
seasons, climate, weather, rain, snow, drought, and all other natural occurrences. If you observe 
carefully, you will be able to see many of these routine patterns and cycles caused by the rebalancing 
of the Qi fields. Among the natural cycles are those of the day, the month, and the year, as well as 
cycles of twelve years and sixty years. 

Earth Qi is a part of Heaven Qi. If you can understand the rules and the structure of the earth, you 
will be able to understand how mountains and rivers are formed, how plants grow, how rivers move, 
what part of the country is best for someone, where to build a house and which direction it should 
face so that it is a healthy place to live, and many other things related to the earth. In China today 
there are people, called “geomancy teachers” (Di Li Shi,J&-& ft )or “wind water teachers” (Feng Shui 
Shi,A&&f kwho make their living this way. The term Feng Shui is commonly used because the 
location and character of the wind and water in a landscape are the most important factors in 
evaluating a location. These experts use the accumulated body of geomantic knowledge and the Yi 
Jing to help people make important decisions such as where and how to build a house, where to bury 


their dead, and how to rearrange or redecorate homes and offices so that they are better places to live 
and work in. Many people even believe that setting up a store or business according to the guidance 
of Feng Shui can make it more prosperous. 

Among the three Qi’s, Human Qi is probably the one studied most thoroughly. The study of 
Human Qi covers a large number of different subjects. The Chinese people believe that Human Qi is 
affected and controlled by Heaven Qi and Earth Qi, and that they in fact determine your destiny. 
Therefore, if you understand the relationship between nature and people, in addition to 
understanding human relations (Ren Shi,X "P-Xyou will be able to predict wars, the destiny of a 
country, or a person’s desires and temperament and even his future. The people who practice this 
profession are called “Suan Ming Shi” (calculate life teachers, £ ^ )■ 

However, the greatest achievement in the study of Human Qi is in regard to health and longevity. 
Since Qi is the source of life, if you understand how Qi functions and know how to regulate it 
correctly, you should be able to live a long and healthy life. Remember that you are part of nature, 
and you are channeled into the cycles of nature. If you go against this natural cycle, you may become 
sick, so it is in your best interests to follow the way of nature. This is the meaning of “Dao,” which 
can be translated as “The Natural Way.” 

Many different aspects of Human Qi have been researched, including acupuncture, acupressure, 
herbal treatment, meditation, and Qigong exercises. The use of acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal 
treatment to adjust Human Qi flow has become the root of Chinese medical science. Meditation and 
moving Qigong exercises are used widely by the Chinese people to improve their health or even to 
cure certain illnesses. Meditation and Qigong exercises serve an additional role in that Daoists and 
Buddhists use them in their spiritual pursuit of enlightenment. 

You can see that the study of any of the aspects of Qi including Heaven Qi, Earth Qi, and Human 
Qi should be called Qigong. However, since the term is usually used today only in reference to the 
cultivation of Human Qi through meditation and exercises, we will only use it in this narrower sense 
to avoid confusion. 

Before we finish this section, we would like to discuss one more thing. The word Nei 
GongC^^Xs often used, especially in Chinese martial society. “Nei” means “internal” and “Gong” 
means “Gongfu.” Nei Gong means “internal Gongfu,” as opposed to Wai GongC ^ $ Xvhich means 
“external Gongfu.” Nei Gong is martial arts training which specializes in internal Gongfu, which 
builds up the Qi internally first and then coordinates the Qi with martial techniques. Typical Chinese 
Nei Gong martial styles are TaijiquanlA^-^ )<Liu He Ba FaC 3 ^ )Baguazhang( A ^ ^ hand 
Xingyiquanf^ Xln contrast to Nei Gong, Wai Gong emphasizes developing the muscles, with 
some build up of Qi in the limbs. Typical Wai Gong martial styles are: Praying Mantis, Tiger, Eagle, 
White Crane, Dragon, and so on. Many of the external styles originated in the Shaolin Temple. 



1-3. About This Book 


I hope this book will lay down a theoretical foundation which interested Qigong practitioners can 
use in their training. Hopefully this book can explain to you the How, Why, and What of Qigong, 
and help you to avoid being confused and misled. 

It is extremely difficult to write a book which covers more than four thousand years of study and 
research, especially since a large portion of the knowledge was kept secret until the last twenty years. 
Even though the study of Qigong has reached very high, there are still many questions which must 
be answered through recourse to today’s technology and interdisciplinary knowledge. 
Contemporary, enthusiastic minds will have plenty of opportunity to research and promote the art. 

One of the major purposes of this book is to stimulate Western scholars and medical society to get 
involved with and study this newly-revealed science. Hopefully other Qigong experts will be 
encouraged to share their knowledge with the public. I believe that in a short time Qigong will reach 
new and exciting heights in the Western world. This would be one of the greatest cross-cultural 
achievements since East and West opened their doors to each other. 

Most available documents are not systematically organized and do not explain the subject very 
well. As I compile them and try to explain them in a logical and scientific way, I must use my own 
judgment, and I must explain them based on my personal Qigong background and my understanding 
of the documents. It is impossible for one person alone to do justice to this enormous field. You are 
encouraged to question everything stated in this text, and to always remember that many conclusions 
come from my own judgment. The main purpose of this book is to lead you to the path of study — it 
is not meant to be the final authority. 

When you read this book, it is important that you keep your mind open, and let go of your habitual 
ways of thinking. When we find ourselves in a new environment or start studying something new, it 
is human nature to view the new from the standpoint of what we have already learned. 
Unfortunately, this tends to make us conservative and narrow minded. This is commonly seen in 
tourists who visit another country, but judge the local customs and behavior according to their own 
country’s standards. This usually leads to a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. If, however, you 
try to understand other people according to their own culture and historical background, you will 
have a much better chance of understanding their behavior. Please do this when you start studying 
this science of Qigong. If you keep your mind open and try to understand it according to its historical 
background, you will find it a fascinating and challenging subject. 

It is true that it is very hard to break from tradition. In many old cultures, tradition must be obeyed 
absolutely. If anyone is against the tradition, he is considered a traitor to the culture. However, the 
correct approach to research and study involves questioning tradition and proving its inaccuracies 
through the use of modern thought and technology. This is especially necessary in regard to ancient 
sciences which were developed before this century. New study will allow us to prove and establish 
their accuracy. You should understand that this is not a form of betrayal. It is our responsibility to 
prove the truth and bring facts to light. 

Many of the theories which have been passed down were based upon many years of experience. 
Regardless of how you modify a theory, the fact is, it is still the root of the entire science. Therefore, 
the correct approach to study and research involves respect and study of the past. From this respect 
and study, you will be able to find the root of the entire science. If you forget this root, which has 
been growing for thousands of years, you are studying only the branches and flowers. 

You should judge this inner science of Qigong in a logical and scientific manner. Of course, the 
words “logic” and “scientific” are not absolute terms. They are relative to the science and 



understanding which we possess. Remember, though, that although science has been developing for 
thousands of years, it was only in the last hundred years or so that it suddenly began to swell in the 
width and depth of its understanding. We can be sure, therefore, that our understanding today is still 
in its infancy. There are many facts and phenomena which cannot be explained by today’s science. 
Therefore, when you read this new inner science, be logical and scientific, yet don’t reject 
explanations which lie outside of what you presently accept as true. What is accepted as true in a few 
years may be quite different from what we now accept. 

All sciences were developed from daring assumptions which were then proven by careful 
experimentation. The results which we get from our experiments allow us to modify our assumptions 
and to create new experiments which explore our new hypotheses. This process enables us to 
develop a complete theory, and determine what next needs to be studied. 

It is the same with Qigong practice. If you look and study carefully, you will see that, although 
many of the Qi-related theories were proven accurate and have been widely used in China, there are 
still many questions which still need to be answered. 

During the course of study you must be patient and persevering. Strong will, patience, and 
perseverance are the three main components of success. This is especially true in Qigong training. 
Your will and wisdom must be able to dominate and conquer your emotional laziness. I believe that 
a person’s success depends on his attitude toward life and his moral character, rather than his 
wisdom and intelligence. We’ve all known people who were wise, yet ended up losers. They may be 
smart, and they pick things up more quickly than other people, but they soon lose interest. If they 
don’t persevere, they stop learning and growing, and they never achieve their goals. They never 
realize that success demands moral virtues, and not just wisdom. A person who is truly wise knows 
that he must develop the other requirements for success. 

In addition, a person who is truly wise will know when to start and when to stop. Many 
opportunities to succeed are lost by people who are too proud of their intelligence. There is a 
Chinese story about a group of people who competed in a snake-drawing contest. One man 
completed his drawing of a snake faster than anybody else. He was very proud of himself, and he 
thought “I’m so fast I could even draw four legs on the snake and still win!” So he drew the legs on, 
but when the judge chose the winner, it was somebody else. The man was very upset, and asked the 
judge why he didn’t win; after all, he had finished before everyone else. The judge said: “You were 
supposed to draw a snake. Since snakes don’t have legs, what you drew was not a snake.” So, as 
smart as the man was, he didn’t have the sense to know when to stop. 

A person who is really wise understands that real success depends not only his wisdom but also on 
his moral character. Therefore, he will also cultivate his moral character and develop his good 
personality. Confucius said: “A man who is really wise knows what he knows and also knows what 
he does not know .” 2 Too often people who are smart become satisfied with their accomplishments 
and lose their humility. They feel that they know enough, and so they stop learning and growing. In 
the long run they will only lose. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. If the rabbit had not 
been so proud and satisfied, he would not have lost the race. 

Once you understand what has been passed down to you, you should be creative. Naturally, this 
creativity must be under one condition: that you must understand the old way clearly and thoroughly. 
Only after you understand the old knowledge to a deep level will your mind be qualified to think 
“what if...” Then you will be able to come up with good ideas for further study and research. If all 
Qigong practitioners only practice the old ways and never search for new ones, the science of 
Qigong will stagnate at its current level. In that case, we will have lost the real meaning of and 
attitude toward learning. 

This book is the most fundamental of the YMAA Qigong book series. It offers you the foundation 
of knowledge and training practices which is required to understand subsequent YMAA Qigong 


books. This book consists of four major parts. The first part will briefly summarize Qigong history, 
explain the necessary Qigong terminology, and discuss the major Qigong categories. The second part 
will discuss the theory and major keys to Qigong training. This will enable the Qigong beginner to 
enter the door to the Qigong garden, and will offer the experienced practitioner a directory to the 
various types of Qigong. The third part will review the Qi channels and vessels to help you 
understand the Qi circulatory system in the human body. Finally, the fourth part will conclude the 
discussion in this book, and list some of the many questions I have about Qigong. 



References 


1 When Chinese medicine refers to an organ, such as the spleen, kidney, or bladder, they are not 
necessarily referring to the physical organ, but rather to a system of functions which are related to 
the organ. 


2 




CHAPTER 2 


History of Qigong 

The history of Chinese Qigong can be roughly divided into four periods. We know little about the 
first period, which is considered to have started when the Yi Jing (Book of Changes, & & L )was 
introduced sometime before 1122 B.C., and to have extended until the Han dynasty (206 
B.C.,® )when Buddhism and its meditation methods were imported from India. This infusion 
brought Qigong practice and meditation into the second period, the religious Qigong era. This period 
lasted until the Liang dynasty (502-557 A.D., '- hwhen it was discovered that Qigong could be used 
for martial purposes. This was the beginning of the third period, that of martial Qigong. Many 
different martial Qigong styles were created based on the theories and principles of Buddhist and 
Daoist Qigong. This period lasted until the overthrow of the Qing dynastyC )in 1911, when the new 
era started in which Chinese Qigong training is being mixed with Qigong practices from India, 
Japan, and many other countries. 



2-1. Before the Han Dynasty (Before 206 B.C.) f ) 


The Yi Jing (Book of Changes; 1122 B.C.) was probably the first Chinese book related to Qi. It 
introduced the concept of the three natural energies or powers (San Cai,- T - ^ )Tian (Heaven,* )-Di 
(Earth, ^ )<and Ren (Man A ) ‘Studying the relationship of these three natural powers was the first 
step in the development of Qigong. 

In 1766-1154 B.C. (the Shang dynasty, & )-the Chinese capital was in today’s An Yang in Henan 
provinceC^^i s £ f ^.)-An archeological dig there at a late Shang dynasty burial ground called Yin 
XuC#t&] discovered more than 160,000 pieces of turtle shell and animal bone which were covered 
with written characters. This writing, called “Jia Gu Wen” (Oracle-Bone Scripture,^ as the 

earliest evidence of the Chinese use of the written word. Most of the information recorded was of a 
religious nature. There was no mention of acupuncture or other medical knowledge, even though it 
was recorded in the Nei Jing^ &)that during the reign of the Yellow emperor (2690-2590 
B.C.,#'*' ,)Bian Shi (stone probes,^ & )were already being used to adjust people’s Qi circulation. The 
archeologists did, however, discover stones at the dig which they believed were Bian Shi (Figure 2- 
1 ). 


Figure 2-1. Acupuncture stone probes (Bian Shi) 



During the Zhou dynasty (1122-934 B.C.,$ ,)<Lao ZiC# ^)(Li Er,4"'4 "(mentioned certain breathing 
techniques in his classic Dao De Jing (Classic on the Virtue of the Dao,-^' *- : (-He stressed that the 
way to obtain health was to “concentrate on Qi and achieve softness” (Zhuan Qi Zhi 
Rou,-^ ) -Later, Shi Ji (Historical Record, £ & )in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States 
Periods (770-221 B.C.,^**^ 8 .(also described more complete methods of breath training. About 300 
B.C. the Daoist philosopher Zhuang Zi(. $ ^ described the relationship between health and the 
breath in his book Nan Hua Jing(ifc#^ ' It states: “The real person’s (i.e. immortal’s) breathing 
reaches down to their heels. The normal person’s breathing in the throat.” 1 This suggests that a 
breathing method for Qi circulation was already being used by some Daoists at that time. 

During the Qin and Han dynasties (221 B.C. -220 A.D.,& * & .(there are several medical references 
to Qigong in the literature, such as the Nan Jing (Classic on Disorders,# & )by the famous physician 
Bian QueC^j )<which describes using the breathing to increase Qi circulation. Jin Kui Yao Lue 
(Prescriptions from the Golden Chamber, £ ® #«&-)by Zhang, Zhong-Jing(.^-^f" .(discusses the use of 
breathing and acupuncture to maintain good Qi flow. Zhou Yi Can Tong Qi (A Comparative Study 
of the Zhou (dynasty) Book of Changes,^ & £ ^ fe )by Wei, Bo-Yang( ^.(explains the 
relationship of human beings to nature’s forces and Qi. It can be seen from this list that up to this 
time, almost all of the Qigong publications were written by scholars such as Lao Zi( Y )and 
Zhuang Zi( & 'T .(or physicians such as Bian Que and Wei, Bo- Yang. 


Let us conclude with a few important points about the Qigong in this period: 

1. Historical documents for this period are scarce today, and it is difficult to obtain 
detailed information, especially about Qigong training. 

2. There were two major types of Qigong training. One type was used by the 
Confucian and Daoist scholars, who used it primarily to maintain their health. The 
other type of Qigong was for medical purposes, using needles or exercises to adjust 
the Qi or to cure illness. 

3. There was almost no religious color to the training. 

4. All of the training focused on following the natural way and improving and 
maintaining health. Actively countering the effects of nature was considered 
impossible. 



2-2. From the Han Dynasty to the Beginning of the Liang Dynasty (206 B.C.-502 

A.D.) ( * - * ) 


Because many Han emperors were intelligent and wise, the Han dynasty was a glorious and 
peaceful period. It was during the Eastern Han dynasty (c. 58 A.D.,#-&)that Buddhism was 
imported to China from India. The Han emperor became a sincere Buddhist; Buddhism soon spread 
and became very popular. Many Buddhist meditation and Qigong practices, which had been 
practiced in India for thousands of years, were absorbed into the Chinese culture. The Buddhist 
temples taught many Qigong practices, especially the still meditation of Chan (Zen)($ * & ) which 
marked a new era of Chinese Qigong. Much of the deeper Qigong theory and practices which had 
been developed in India were brought to China. Unfortunately, since the training was directed at 
attaining Buddhahood, the training practices and theory were recorded in the Buddhist bibles and 
kept secret. For hundreds of years the religious Qigong training was never taught to laymen. Only in 
this century has it been available to the general populace. 

Not long after Buddhism had been imported into China, a Daoist by the name of Zhang, Dao- 
Ling( & *6 & Combined the traditional Daoist principles with Buddhism and created a religion called 
Dao JiaoCH& l-Many of the meditation methods were a combination of the principles and training 
methods of both sources. 

Since Tibet had developed its own branch of Buddhism with its own training system and methods 
of attaining Buddhahood, Tibetan Buddhists were also invited to China to preach. In time, their 
practices were also absorbed. 

It was in this period that the traditional Chinese Qigong practitioners finally had a chance to 
compare their arts with the religious Qigong practices imported mainly from India. While the 
scholarly and medical Qigong had been concerned with maintaining and improving health, the newly 
imported religious Qigong was concerned with far more. Contemporary documents and Qigong 
styles show clearly that the religious practitioners trained their Qi to a much deeper level, working 
with many internal functions of the body, and strove to obtain control of their bodies, minds, and 
spirits with the goal of escaping from the cycle of reincarnation. 

While the Qigong practices and meditations were being passed down secretly within the 
monasteries, traditional scholars and physicians continued their Qigong research. During the Jin 
dynastyC'®' ,)in the 3rd century A.D., a famous physician named Hua Tuo(4F P&)used acupuncture for 
anesthesia in surgery. The Daoist Jun QianC® ^ Aised the movements of animals to create the Wu 

Qin Xi (Five Animal Sports,’*- & )■ -which taught people how to increase their Qi circulation 

through specific movements (some say that the Wu Qin Xi was created by Hua Tuo). Also, in this 
period a physician named Ge Hong( & ^ Mentioned using the mind to lead and increase Qi in his 
book Bao Pu ZiC^^'O-Sometime in the period of 420 to 581 A.D. Tao, Hong- 
Jing( W & # Compiled the Yang Shen Yan Ming Lu (Records of Nourishing the Body and Extending 
Life,^ # ) .which showed many Qigong techniques. 

Characteristics of Qigong during this period were: 

1. There were three schools of religious Qigong which influenced and dominated the 
Qigong practice in this period. These are Indian Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and 
Daoism. 

2. Almost all of the religious Qigong practices were kept secret within the 
monasteries. 


3. Religious Qigong training worked to escape from the cycle of reincarnation. 

4. Relatively speaking, religious Qigong theory is deeper than the theory of the non- 
religious Qigong, and the training is harder. 

5. Qi circulation theory was better understood by this time, so the Qigong sets created 
in this period seem to be more efficient than the older sets. 



2-3. From the Liang Dynasty to the End of the Qing Dynasty (502-1911 A.D.) 

I* - J 


During the Liang dynasty (502-557 A.D.,^ )the emperor invited a Buddhist monk named Da 
Mot & )-who was once an Indian prince, to preach Buddhism in China. The emperor decided he did 
not like Da Mo’s Buddhist theory, so the monk withdrew to the Shaolin Templet A 1 -When Da 
Mo arrived, he saw that the priests were weak and sickly, so he shut himself away to ponder the 
problem. He emerged after nine years of seclusion and wrote two classics: Yi Jin Jing 
(Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic, ^)and Xi Sui Jing (Marrow/Brain Washing 
Classic, J-The Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic taught the priests how to gain health and 
change their physical bodies from weak to strong. The Marrow/Brain Washing Classic taught the 
priests how to use Qi to clean the bone marrow and strengthen the blood and immune system, as well 
as how to energize the brain and attain enlightenment. Because the Marrow/Brain Washing Classic 
was harder to understand and practice, the training methods were passed down secretly to only a very 
few disciples in each generation. 

After the priests practiced the Muscle/Tendon Changing exercises, they found that not only did 
they improve their health, but they also greatly increased their strength. When this training was 
integrated into the martial arts forms, it increased the effectiveness of their techniques. In addition to 
this martial Qigong training, the Shaolin priests also created five animal styles of Gongfu which 
imitated the way different animals fight. The animals imitated were the tiger, leopard, dragon, snake, 
and crane. 

Outside of the monastery, the development of Qigong continued during the Sui and Tang 
dynasties (581-907 A.D. ,5 ’ & .)-Chao, Yuan-Fang( & A '7? Compiled the Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun 
(Thesis on the Origins and Symptoms of Various Diseases,^? ft*), which is a veritable 

encyclopedia of Qigong methods, listing 260 different ways of increasing the Qi flow. The Qian Jin 
Fang (Thousand Gold Prescriptions, + &^Jby Sun, Si-Maot# "■ '^described the method of leading 
Qi, and also described the use of the Six Sounds. The Buddhists and Daoists had already been using 
the Six Sounds to regulate Qi in the internal organs for some time. Sun Si-Mao also introduced a 
massage system called Lao Zi’s 49 Massage Techniques. Wai Tai Mi Yao (The Extra Important 
Secret, ^ ^ Jby Wang Tao(4- k Jdiscussed the use of breathing and herbal therapies for disorders 
of Qi circulation. 

During the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties (960-1368 A.D. A ’ ^ ’ A), Yang Shen Jue (Life 
Nourishing Secrets,^ — Jby Zhang, An-Dao(&£ Jdiscussed several Qigong practices. Ru Men 
Shi Shi (The Confucian Point of View/: Jby Zhang, Zi-He(. ^ ^describes the use of Qigong 

to cure external injuries such as cuts and sprains. Lan Shi Mi Cang (Secret Library of the Orchid 
Room,' 1 - Jby Li Guot -A &) describes using Qigong and herbal remedies for internal disorders. 
Ge Zhi Yu Lun (A Further Thesis of Complete Study A Jby Zhu, Dan-Xif * 'D& Jprovided a 

theoretical explanation for the use of Qigong in curing disease. 

During the Song dynasty (960-1279 A.D.,* ) Chang, San-FengO^-^# )is believed to have created 
Taijiquan (or Tai Chi Chuan,-t fiA J-Taiji followed a different approach in its use of Qigong than did 
Shaolin. While Shaolin emphasized Wai Dan (External Elixir, jQigong exercises, Taiji 
emphasized Nei Dan (Internal Elixir, ^ h\)Qigong training. 

In 1026 A.D. the famous brass man of acupuncture was designed and built by Dr. Wang, Wei- 
Yi(i '-ft — ) -Before that time, the many publications which discussed acupuncture theory, principles, 
and treatment techniques disagreed with each other, and left many points unclear. When Dr. Wang 
built his brass man, he also wrote a book called Tong Ren Yu Xue Zhen Jiu Tu (Illustration of the 


Brass Man Acupuncture and Moxibustion,^^ ^ ^ ® >-He explained the relationship of the 12 
organs and the 12 Qi channels, clarified many of the points of confusion, and, for the first time, 
systematically organized acupuncture theory and principles. 

In 1034 A.D. Dr. Wang used acupuncture to cure the emperor Ren ZongQ- * .) With the support of 
the emperor, acupuncture flourished. In order to encourage acupuncture medical research, the 
emperor built a temple to Bian Que, who wrote the Nan Jing, and worshiped him as the ancestor of 
acupuncture. Acupuncture technology developed so much that even the Jin race in the distant North 
requested the brass man and other acupuncture technology as a condition for peace. Between 1 102 to 
1106 A.D. Dr. Wang dissected the bodies of prisoners and added more information to the Nan Jing. 
His work contributed greatly to the advancement of Qigong and Chinese medicine by giving a clear 
and systematic idea of the circulation of Qi in the human body. 

Later, in the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279 A.D.,* £) Marshal Yue Fei(* .Hvas credited 
with creating several internal Qigong exercises and martial arts. It is said that he created Ba Duan Jin 
(The Eight Pieces of Brocade, ,)to improve the health of his soldiers. He is also known as the 
creator of the internal martial style XingyiC^ -Eagle style martial artists also claim that Yue Fei 
was the creator of their style. 

From then until the end of the Qing dynasty (1911 A.D.,^ .Lmany other Qigong styles were 
founded. The well-known ones include Hu Bu Gong (Tiger Step Gong, ^ £ ^.)-Shi Er Zhuang 
(Twelve Postures,* — ^Jand Jiao Hua Gong (Beggar Gong, v ; : - Also in this period, many 

documents related to Qigong were published, such as Bao Shen Mi Yao (The Secret Important 
Document of Body Protection,^ # & Jby Cao, Yuan-Bail. *•&) .which described moving and 
stationary Qigong practices; and Yang Shen Fu Yu (Brief Introduction to Nourishing the 
Body,^ 1 * ^ ' )by Chen, Ji-Ru(&&$ .) -about the three treasures: Jing (essence, 1 # J-Qi (internal 
energy, ft). and Shen (spirit,#) -Also, Yi Fan Ji Jie (The Total Introduction to Medical 
Prescriptions, § ^ Jby Wang, Fan- AnO-^^Jre viewed and summarized the previously published 

materials; and Nei Gong Tu Shuo (Illustrated Explanation of Nei Gong,^ # * ^ Jby Wang, Zu- 
Yuan(i & presented the Twelve Pieces of Brocade and explained the idea of combining both 
moving and stationary Qigong. 

In the late Ming dynasty (around 1640 A.D. ,93 ).a martial Qigong style, Huo Long Gong (Fire 
Dragon Gong,^-^t J >7.) was created by the Taiyang martial stylists!. ^ ^ ) -The Well-known internal 
martial art style Baguazhang (Eight Trigrams Palm/^t'# )is believed to have been created by Dong, 
Hai-ChuanL^' )i a te in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.,# )-This style is now gaining in 
popularity throughout the world. 

During the Qing dynasty, Tibetan meditation and martial techniques became widespread in China 
for the first time. This was due to the encouragement and interest of the Manchurian Emperors in the 
royal palace, as well as others of high rank in society. Characteristics of Qigong during this period 
were: 

1. Qigong was adapted into the martial arts, and martial Qigong styles were created. 

2. Qi circulation theory and acupuncture reached a peak. More documents were 
published about medical Qigong than the other categories of Qigong exercises. 

3. Religious Qigong practice remained secret. 

4. Qigong exercises had become more popular in Chinese society. 



2-4. From the End of the Qing Dynasty to the Present f ^ I 


Before 1911 A.D., Chinese society was still very conservative and old-fashioned. Even though 
China had been expanding its contact with the outside world for the previous hundred years, the 
outside world had little influence beyond the coastal regions. With the overthrow of the Qing 
dynasty in 1911 and the founding of the Chinese Republic, the nation began changing as never 
before. Since this time Qigong practice has entered a new era. Because of the ease of communication 
in the modern world, Western culture now has great influence on the Orient. Many Chinese have 
opened their minds and changed their traditional ideas, especially in Taiwan and Hong Kong. 
Various Qigong styles are now being taught openly, and many formerly secret documents have been 
published. Modern methods of communication have opened up Qigong to a much wider audience 
than ever before, and people now have the opportunity to study and understand many different 
styles. In addition, people are now able to compare Chinese Qigong to similar arts from other 
countries such as India, Japan, Korea, and the Middle East. 

I believe that in the near future Qigong will be considered the most exciting and challenging field 
of research. It is an ancient science just waiting to be investigated with the help of the new 
technologies now being developed at an almost explosive rate. Anything we can do to speed up this 
research will greatly help humanity to understand and improve itself. 


References 


jff^er ; ’ SA*LA«eR- 


CHAPTER 3 


Basic Concepts of Qigong 

There are a number of special terms that are commonly used by Qigong practitioners, and are found 
in the documents which have been passed down from generation to generation. Since most of these 
terms are key words which will help you to grasp the basic concepts of Qigong practice, it is 
important that you understand their real meaning. In this chapter we will discuss the major terms 
which are directly related to Qigong training. Other terms will be discussed in Appendix. 



3-1. The Three Treasures - Jing, Qi, and Shen 


Understanding Jing (Essence,** ) Qi (internal energy, &)<and Shen (spirit,-^ )is one of the most 
important requirements for effective Qigong training. They are the root of your life and therefore 
also the root of Qigong practice. Jing, Qi, and Shen are called “San Bao”( )«which means “The 
Three Treasures,” “San Yuan”^^.) which means “The Three Origins,” or “San Ben”( -=■ $-) -which 
means “The Three Foundations.” In Qigong training, a practitioner learns how to “firm his Jing” (Gu 
Jing;® W , Gu means to firm, solidify, retain, and conserve) and how to convert it into Qi. This is 
called “Lian Jing Hua Qi”( ) which means “to refine the Jing and convert it into Qi.” Then 

he learns how to lead the Qi to the head to convert it into Shen (also called nourishing Shen). This is 
called “Lian Qi Hua Shen”(.-*MUtt+) .which means “to refine the Qi and convert it into (nourish) the 
Shen” Finally, the practitioner learns to use his energized Shen to govern the emotional part of his 
personality. This is called “Lian Shen Liao Xing”( T &)ior “to refine the Shen to end human 
(emotional) nature.” 

These conversion processes are what enable you to gain health and longevity. As a Qigong 
practitioner, you must pay a great deal of attention to these three elements during the course of your 
training. If you keep these three elements strong and healthy, you will live a long and healthy life. If 
you neglect or abuse them, you will be sick frequently and will age fast. Each one of these three 
elements or treasures has its own root. You must know the roots so that you can strengthen and 
protect your three treasures. 



Jing 


The Chinese word Jing means a number of things depending on where, when, and how it is used. 
Jing can be used as a verb, an adjective, or a noun. When it is used as a verb, it means “to refine.” 
For example, to refine or purify a liquid to a high quality is called “Jing Lian”C$>^ J-When it is used 
as an adjective, it is used to describe or signify something which is “refined,” “polished” and “pure 
without mixture.” For example, when a piece of art work is well done, people say “Jing 
Xi”( ft which means “delicate and painstaking” (literally, “pure and fine”), or “Jing 
Liang”(#i &)> which means “excellent quality” (literally “pure and good”). When Jing is used to 
apply to personal wisdom or personality, it means “keen” and “sharp.” For example, when someone 
is smart or wise, they are called “Jing Ming’t^^l) -which means “keen and clever.” When Jing is 
applied to a thought, it means “profound” or “astute,” and indicates that the idea or plan was well and 
carefully considered. When used as a noun for an object, Jing means “the essence” or “the 
essentials.” When it is used for the energy side of a being, it means “spirit” or “ghost.” Since Chinese 
people believe that the male sperm or semen is the refined and the most essential product of a man, 
Jing also means sperm or semen. 

When Jing is used as “essence,” it exists in everything. Jing may be considered the primal 
substance or original source from which a thing is made, and which exhibits the true nature of that 
thing. When Jing is used in reference to animals or humans, it means the very original and essential 
source of life and growth. This Jing is the origin of the Shen (spirit) which makes an animal different 
from a tree. In humans, Jing is passed down from the parents. Sperm is called “Jing Zi’Oft'T") which 
means “the sons of essence.” When this essence is mixed with the mother’s Jing (egg), a new life is 
generated which is, in certain fundamental respects, an intertwining of the Jings of both parents. The 
child is formed, the Qi circulates, and the Shen grows. The Jing which has been carried over from 
the parents is called “Yuan Jing”(^^.l which means “Original Essence.” 

Once you are born, Original Jing is the fountainhead and root of your life. It is what enables you 
to grow stronger and bigger. After your birth you start to absorb the Jing of food and air, converting 
these Jings into the Qi which supplies your body’s needs. You should understand that when Jing is 
mentioned in Qigong society, it refers usually to Yuan Jing (Original Jing,^^)- Qigong 
practitioners believe that Original Jing is the most important part of you, because it is the root of 
your body’s Qi and Shen. The amount and quality of Original Jing is different from person to 
person, and it is affected significantly by your parents’ health and living habits while they were 
creating you. Generally speaking, it does not matter how much Original Jing you have carried over 
from your parents. If you know how to conserve it, you will have more than enough for your 
lifetime. According to Chinese medicine, you probably cannot increase the amount of Jing you have. 
It is believed, however, that Qigong training can improve its quality. 

In Qigong training, knowing how to conserve and firm your Original Jing is of primary 
importance. To conserve means to refrain from abusing your Original Jing through overuse. For 
example, if you overindulge in sexual activity, you will lose Original Jing faster than other people 
and your body will degenerate faster. To firm your Jing means to keep and protect it. For example, 
you should know how to keep your kidneys strong. Kidneys are thought of as the residence of 
Original Jing. When your kidneys are strong, the Original Jing will be kept firm and will not be lost 
without reason. The firming of your Original Jing is called “Gu Jing”(® ^ )< which is translated “to 
make solid, to firm the essence.” Only after you know how to retain (meaning to conserve and firm) 
your Original Jing can you start seeking ways to improve its quality. Therefore, conserving and 
firming your Jing is the first step in training. In order to know how to conserve and firm your Jing, 



you must first know: the root of your Jing, where the Original Jing resides, and how Original Jing is 
converted into Qi. 

The root of your Original Jing before your birth is in your parents. After birth, this Original Jing 
stays in its residence, the kidneys, which are now also its root. When you keep this root strong, you 
will have plenty of Original Jing to supply to your body. 

If you look carefully at how you were formed, you can gain interesting insights into life. You 
started as one sperm which, because it managed to reach and penetrate the egg before any of the 
other millions of sperm could, was one of the strongest and luckiest sperm alive. Once this sperm 
entered the egg, one human cell formed and then started to divide, from one to two, and from two to 
four. Finally, the baby formed. All of the baby’s health depended on the sperm and egg which were 
generated from the Jing of the parents. As the baby was being formed it was immersed in liquid, and 
it received all of its nutrition and oxygen from the mother through the umbilical cord. Notice that the 
umbilical cord connects at the navel, which is very close to both the Dan Tian and your body’s center 
of gravity. The umbilical cord is very long, and because it is hard for the mother alone to push the 
necessary supplies to the baby, the baby needs to help. The baby must draw the nutrients to itself 
with an in and out pumping motion of its abdomen. 

Once you are born, you start taking in oxygen through your nose and food through your mouth. 
Since you no longer need the abdominal motion to pump in nutrients, it gradually stops, and, finally, 
you forget how to use it. In Qigong, the Lower Dan Tian (Xia Dan Tian,T # w )or abdomen is still 
considered the original Qi source because it is here that Qi is made from the Original Jing which you 
inherited from your parents. 

According to Chinese medical and Qigong society, the Original Jing which you obtained from 
your parents stays in your kidneys after your birth. This Original Jing is the source of your life and 
growth. This Original Jing is converted continuously into Qi which moves into the Lower Dan Tian, 
and stays stored there in its residence for future use. The Dan Tian is located on the Conception 
Vessel — one of the eight Qi “reservoirs” in the body which regulate the Qi flow in the other Qi 
channels (this will be discussed further in Part Three). Dan Tian Qi is considered “Water Qi” (Shui 
Qi,#-*0'and is able to cool down the “Fire Qi” (Huo Qi,k &, (which is generated from the Jing of 
food and air and which resides at the Middle Dan Tian. 

As you may realize from the above discussion, if you wish to stay strong and healthy, you must 
first conserve your Original Jing. Remember that Original Jing is like the principal in your savings 
account in that it is an original investment which will continue to return interest as long as it is 
conserved. Jing can produce Qi, so if you handle this Jing carefully, you will continue to have Jing 
and Qi. However, if you abuse yourself with an unhealthy lifestyle, you may damage and reduce 
your original Jing. 

In order to conserve your Jing, you must first control your sexual activity. The gonads are called 
the “external kidneys” (Wai Shen/I' ft )in Chinese medical society. This is because Chinese doctors 
believe that sperm is a product of Original Jing and the Jing from food and air. The more 
ejaculations you have, the faster you will exhaust your Original Jing, and the shorter your life will 
be. 

Please understand that the Chinese doctors and Qigong practitioners are not saying that in order to 
conserve your Jing, you must stop your sexual activity completely. As a matter of fact, they 
encourage the proper amount of sexual activity, believing that it will energize and activate the Jing, 
which makes the Jing-Qi conversion more efficient. Remember, Jing is like fuel, and Qi is like the 
energy generated from this fuel. The more efficiently you can convert your fuel into energy, the less 
you will waste. 

In addition, the proper amount of sexual activity will energize the Qi so that it nourishes the Shen 
(spirit). This will help you stay mentally balanced, and raise your Shen. It is very important to keep 



your Shen raised, otherwise you will tend to get depressed and will be afraid to face life. It is very 
hard to define how much sex is the proper amount. It depends on the individual’s age and state of 
health. According to Qigong, the Jing which resides in the external kidneys (gonads) is the main 
source of the Qi which fills up the four major Qi vessels in the legs. These four Qi reservoirs 
(vessels) keep the legs strong and healthy. Therefore, if you feel that your legs are weak due to the 
amount of sexual activity, you have lost too much of your Jing. 

The second thing you must do in order to conserve your Original Jing is to prevent your Original 
Qi from leaking out of your body. There are two acupuncture cavities called “Shenshu” (B-23,?"fr )or 
“Jingmen” (Essence Doors,!# ) -These two cavities are the doors through which the kidneys 
communicate with the outside, and they are used to regulate the Qi production in the kidneys. When 
Qi is converted from Original Jing, most of it moves forward to the Dan Tian. However, some Qi is 
lost backward through the Kidney Doors. If you lose too much Qi, your Jing will be depleted as you 
try to make up for the loss. In Qigong practice, one of the major training goals is to learn how to lead 
the converted Qi from the kidneys to the Dan Tian more efficiently. 



Qi 


Since we have already discussed Qi at the beginning of this chapter in general terms, we will now 
discuss Qi in the human body and in Qigong training. Before we start, we would like to point out one 
important thing. At this time, there is no clear explanation of the relationship between all of the 
circulatory systems and the Qi circulatory system. The Western world knows of the blood system, 
nervous system, and lymphatic system. Now, there is the Qi circulation system from China. How are, 
for example, the Qi and the nervous system related? If the nervous system does not match the Qi 
system, where does the sensing energy in the nervous system come from? How is the lymphatic 
system related to the Qi system? All of these questions are still waiting for study by modern 
scientific methods and technology. Here, we can only offer you some theoretical assumptions based 
on the research conducted up to now. 

Chinese medical society believes that the Qi and blood are closely related. Where Qi goes, blood 
follows. That is why “Qi Xue” (Qi Blood, )is commonly used in Chinese medical texts. It is 
believed that Qi provides the energy for the blood cells to keep them alive. As a matter of fact, it is 
believed that blood is able to store Qi, and that it helps to transport air Qi especially to every cell of 
the body. 

If you look carefully, you can see that the elements of your physical body such as the organs, 
nerves, blood, and even every tiny cell are all like separate machines, each with their own unique 
function. Just like electric motors, if there is no current in them, they are dead. If you compare the 
routes of the blood circulatory system, the nervous system, and the lymphatic system with the course 
of the Qi channels, you will see that there is a great deal of correspondence. This is simply because 
Qi is the energy needed to keep them all alive and functioning. 

Now, let us look at your entire body. Your body is composed of two major parts. The first part is 
your physical body, and the second is the energy supply which your body needs to function. Your 
body is like a factory. Inside your body are many organs, which correspond to the machines required 
to process the raw materials into the finished product. Some of the raw materials brought into a 
factory are used to create the energy with which other raw materials will be converted into finished 
goods. The raw materials for your body are food and air, and the finished product is life. 

The Qi in your body is analogous to the electric current which the factory power plant obtains 
from coal or oil. The factory has many wires connecting the power plant to the machines, and other 
wires connecting telephones, intercoms, and computers. There are also many conveyer belts, 
elevators, wagons, and trucks to move material from one place to another. It is no different in your 
body, where there are systems of intestines, blood vessels, complex networks of nerves and Qi 
channels to facilitate the supply of blood, sensory information and energy to the entire body. 
However, unlike the digestive, circulatory, and central nervous systems — all of whose supportive 
vessels can be observed as material structures in the body — Qi channels are non-material and 
cannot be observed as physical objects. The circulatory, nervous, and Qi systems all possess similar 
configurations within the body, and are distributed rather equally throughout the body. 

In a factory, different machines require different levels of current. It is the same for your organs, 
which require different levels of Qi. If a machine is supplied with an improper level of power, it will 
not function normally and may even be damaged. In the same way, your organs, when the Qi level 
running to them is either too positive or too negative, will be damaged and will degenerate more 
rapidly. The ancient Chinese character for Qi 1 .^)was formed of two words. On the top is the word 
“nothing’! )and at the bottom is the word “fire”( ■- TThis implies that Qi is “no fire.” That means 
that when the organs are supplied with the proper amount of Qi, they will not be overheated and “on 



fire.” 

In order for a factory to function smoothly and productively, it will not only need high quality 
machines, but also a reliable power supply. The same goes for your body. The quality of your organs 
is largely dependent upon what you inherited from your parents. To maintain your organs in a 
healthy state and to insure that they function well for a long time, you must have an appropriate Qi 
supply. If you don’t have it, you will become sick. 

Qi is affected by the quality of air you inhale, the kind of food you eat, your lifestyle, and even 
your emotional make-up and personality. The food and air are like the fuel or power supply, and 
their quality affects you. Your lifestyle is like the way you run the machine, and your personality is 
like the management of the factory. 

The above discussion clarifies the role that Qi plays in your body. However, it should be noted 
that the above metaphor is an oversimplification, and that the behavior and function of Qi is much 
more complex and difficult to handle than the power supply in a factory. You are neither a factory 
nor a robot, you are a human being with feelings and emotions. Unfortunately, your feelings have a 
major influence on your Qi circulation. For example, when you pinch yourself, the Qi in that area 
will be disturbed. This Qi disturbance will be sensed through the nervous system and interpreted by 
your brain as pain. No machine can do this. Moreover, after you have felt the pain, unlike a machine, 
you will react either as a result of instinct or conscious thought. Human feelings and thought affect 
Qi circulation in the body, whereas a machine cannot influence its power supply. In order to 
understand your Qi, you must use your feelings, rather than just the intellect, to sense its flow and 
make judgments about it. 

Now a few words as to the source of human Qi. As mentioned, Chinese doctors and Qigong 
practitioners believe that the body contains two general types of Qi. The first type is called Pre-birth 
Qi or Original Qi (Yuan Qi,^ &- .) -Original Qi is also called “Xian Tian Qi”(A ^£l)which, translated 
literally, means “Pre-heavenly Qi.” Heaven here means the sky, so preheaven means before the baby 
sees the sky. In other words, before birth. Original Qi comes from converted Original Jing which you 
received before your birth. This is why Original Qi is also called Pre-birth Qi. 

The second type is called Post-birth Qi or “Hou Tian Qi”(& ^ A. .) -which means “Post-heaven Qi.” 
This Qi is drawn from the Jing (i.e. essence) of the food and air we take in. As mentioned, the 
residence of the Post-birth Qi is the Middle Dan Tian (solar plexus). This Qi then circulates down 
and mixes with the Pre-birth or Dan Tian Qi (Original Qi). Together, they circulate down, passing 
into the Governing Vessel (Du Mai,^ ^ ) -fro m where they are distributed to the entire body. 

Pre-birth Qi is commonly called “Water Qi” (Shui Qi,^& Jbecause it is able to cool down the 
Post-birth Qi, which is called “Fire Qi” (Huo Qi,^ £l )-Fire Qi usually brings the body to a positive 
(Yang) state, which stimulates the emotions and scatters and confuses the mind. When the Water Qi 
cools your body down, the mind will become clear, neutral and centered. It is believed in Qigong 
society that Fire Qi supports the emotional part of the body, while Water Qi supports the wisdom 
part. 

After the Fire Qi and Water Qi mix, this Qi will not only circulate to the Governing Vessel, but 
will also supply the “Thrusting Vessel” (Chong Mai,^f^)which will lead the Qi directly up through 
the spinal cord to nourish the brain and energize the Shen and soul. As will be discussed later, 
energizing the brain and raising the Shen are very important in Qigong practice. 

According to its function, Qi can be divided into two major categories. The first is called “Ying 
Qi” (Managing Qi,- & ) -because it manages or controls the functioning of the body. This includes 
the functioning of the brain and the organs, and even body movement. Ying Qi is again divided into 
two major types. The first type circulates in the channels and is responsible for the functioning of the 
organs. The circulation of Qi to the organs and the extremities continues automatically as long as you 
have enough Qi in your reservoirs and you maintain your body in good condition. The second type 



of Ying Qi is linked to your Yi (mind, intention). When your Yi decides to do something, for 
example to lift a box, this type of Ying Qi will automatically flow to the muscles needed to do the 
job. This type of Qi is directed by your thoughts, and therefore is related closely to your feelings and 
emotions. 

The second major category of Qi is “Wei Qi” (Guardian Qi,ttr& )Wei Qi forms a shield on the 
surface of the body to protect you from negative outside influences. Wei Qi is also involved in the 
growth of hair, the repair of skin injuries, and many other functions on the surface of the skin. Wei 
Qi comes from the Qi channels, and is led through the millions of tiny channels to the surface of the 
skin. This Qi can even reach beyond the body. When your body is positive (Yang), this Qi is strong, 
and your pores will be open. When your body is negative (Yin), this Qi is weak, and your pores will 
close up more to prevent Qi from being lost. 

In the summertime, your body is Yang and your Qi is strong, so your Qi shield will be bigger and 
extend beyond your physical body, and the pores will be wide open. In the wintertime, your body is 
relatively Yin (negative), and you must conserve your Qi in order to stay warm and keep pathogens 
out. The Qi shield is smaller and doesn’t extend out much beyond your skin. 

Wei Qi functions automatically in response to changes in the environment, but it is also influenced 
significantly by your feelings and emotions. For example, when you feel happy or angry, the Qi 
shield will be more open than when you are sad. 

In order to keep your body healthy and functioning properly, you must keep the Ying Qi 
functioning smoothly and, at the same time, keep the Wei Qi strong to protect you from negative 
outside influences such as the cold. Chinese doctors and Qigong practitioners believe that the key to 
doing this is through Shen (spirit). Shen is considered to be the headquarters which directs and 
controls the Qi. Therefore, when you practice Qigong you must understand what your Shen is and 
know how to raise it. When people are ill and facing death, very often the ones with a strong Shen, 
which is indicative of a strong will to live, will survive. The people who are apathetic or depressed 
will generally not last long. A strong will to live raises the Shen, which energizes the body’s Qi and 
keeps you alive and healthy. 

In order to raise your Shen, you must first nourish your brain with Qi. This Qi energizes the brain 
so that you can concentrate more effectively. Your mind will then be steady, your will strong, and 
your Shen raised. Shen will be more thoroughly discussed in a later section. 

There is another way to categorize the body’s Qi: Fire Qi and Water Qi. As we discussed 
previously, the Qi generated from the food and air you take in warms the body, and so it is called 
Fire Qi. This Qi is associated with the emotions. The second type of Qi is called Water Qi. It is also 
called Original Qi because it is generated from Original Jing. It has its root in the kidneys, and it has 
a cooling effect on the body. It is associated with Yi and wisdom. As a Qigong practitioner you want 
Water Qi and Fire Qi to be balanced, so that your body and mind are centered and balanced. It is also 
said that your Yi should be in the center of your emotions. This way wisdom rules and the emotions 
are controlled, not suppressed. 

As a Qigong practitioner, in addition to paying attention to the food and air you take in, it is 
important for you to learn how to generate Water Qi and how to use it more effectively. Water Qi 
can cool down the Fire Qi and, therefore, slow down the degeneration of the body. Water Qi also 
helps to calm your mind and keep it centered. This allows you to judge things objectively. During 
Qigong practice, you will be able to sense your Qi and direct it effectively. 

In order to generate Water Qi and use it efficiently, you must know how and where it is generated. 
Since Water Qi comes from the conversion of Original Jing, they both have the kidneys for their 
root. Once Water Qi is generated, it resides in the Lower Dan Tian below your navel. In order to 
conserve your Water Qi, you must keep your kidneys firm and strong. 



Shen 


It is very difficult to find an English word to exactly express Shen. As in so many other cases, the 
context determines the translation. Shen can be translated as spirit, god, immortal, soul, mind, 
divine, and supernatural. 

When you are alive, Shen is the spirit which is directed by your mind. When your mind is not 
steady it is said “Xin Shen Bu Ning”( # 7= ) which means “the (emotional) mind and spirit are not 

peaceful.” The average person can use his emotional mind to energize and stimulate his Shen to a 
higher state, but at the same time he must restrain his emotional mind with his wisdom mind (Yi). If 
his Yi can control the Xin, the mind as a whole will be concentrated and the Yi will be able to govern 
the Shen. When someone’s Shen is excited, however, it is not being controlled by his Yi, so we say, 
“Shen Zhi Bu Qing’t^^^ jfr) -which means “the spirit and the will (generated from Yi) are not 
clear.” In Qigong it is very important for you to train your wisdom Yi to control your emotional Xin 
effectively. In order to reach this goal, Buddhists and Daoists train themselves to be free of 
emotions. Only in this way are they able to build a strong Shen which is completely under their 
control. 

When you are healthy you are able to use your Yi to protect your Shen and keep it at its residence: 
the Upper Dan Tian. Even when your Shen is energized, it is still controlled. However, when you are 
very sick or near death, your Yi becomes weak and your Shen will leave its residence and wander 
around. When you are dead, your Shen separates completely from the physical body. It is then called 
a “Hun”( I &)or “soul.” Often the term “Shen Hun”(t+^)is used, since the Hun originated with the 
Shen. Sometimes “Shen Hun” is also used to refer to the spirit of a dying person since his spirit is 
between “Shen” and “Hun.” 

The Chinese believe that when your Shen reaches a higher and stronger state, you are able to sense 
and feel more sharply, and your mind is more clever and inspired. The world of living human beings 
is usually considered a Yang world, and the spiritual world after death is considered a Yin world. It 
is believed that when your Shen has reached this higher, sensitive state you can transcend your 
mind’s normal capacity. Ideas beyond your usual grasp can be understood and controlled, and you 
may develop the ability to sense or even communicate with the Yin world. This supernatural Shen is 
called “Ling”(# )■ “Ling” is commonly used by the Chinese to describe someone who is sharp, 
clever, nimble, and able to quickly empathize with people and things. It is believed that when you 
die this supernatural Shen will not die with your body right away. It is this supernatural Shen (Ling) 
which still holds your energy together as a “ghost” or “Gui”(& (-Therefore, a ghost is also called 
“Ling Gui”(£ A )meaning “spiritual ghost” or “Ling Hun”(£ 'A )meaning “spiritual soul.” 

You can see from the above discussion that Ling is the supernatural part of the spirit. It is believed 
that if this supernatural spiritual soul is strong enough, it will live for a long time after the physical 
body is dead and have plenty of opportunity to reincarnate. Chinese people believe that if a person 
has reached the stage of enlightenment or Buddhahood when he is alive, after he dies this 
supernatural spirit will leave the cycle of reincarnation and live forever. These spirits are called 
“Shen Ming”C^^ .) which means “spiritually enlightened beings,” or simply “Shen”(d ; ) which here 
implies that this spirit has become divine. Normally, if you die and your supernatural spiritual soul is 
not strong, your spirit has only a short time to search for a new residence in which to be reborn 
before its energy disperses. In this case, the spirit is called “Gui”( & ) which means “ghost.” 

Buddhists and Daoists believe that when you are alive you may use your Jing and Qi to nourish 
the Shen (Yang Shen,^# )and make your Ling strong. When this “Ling Shen”(£ )is built up to a 
high level, your will is able to lead it to separate from the physical body even while you are alive. 



When you have reached this stage, your physical body is able to live for many hundreds of years. 
People who can do this are called “Xian”(4*0 -which means “god,” “immortal,” or “fairy.” Since 
“Xian” originated with the Shen, the “Xian” is sometimes called “Shen Xian”( # ^ .) which means 
“immortal spirit.” The “Xian” is a living person whose Shen has reached the stage of enlightenment 
or Buddhahood. After his death, his spirit will be called “Shen Ming’t^'W )■ 

The foundation of Buddhist and Daoist Qigong training is to firm your Shen, nourish it, and grow 
it until it is mature enough to separate from your physical body. In order to do this, a Qigong 
practitioner must know where the Shen resides, and how to keep, protect, nourish, and train it. It is 
also essential for you to know the root or origin of your Shen. 

Your Shen resides in the Upper Dan Tian (forehead), in the place often known as the third eye. 
When you concentrate on the Upper Dan Tian, the Shen can be firmed. Firm here means to keep and 
to protect. When someone’s mind is scattered and confused, his Shen wanders. This is called “Shen 
Bu Shou She’^#^ ^ & )<which means “the spirit is not kept at its residence.” 

According to Qigong theory, though your Xin (emotional mind,**' )is able to raise up your spirit, 
this mind can also make your Shen confused, so that it leaves its residence. You must use your Yi 
(wisdom mind) constantly to restrain and control your Shen at the residence. 

In Qigong, when your Qi can reach and nourish your Shen efficiently, your Shen will be energized 
to a higher level and, in turn, conduct the Qi in its circulation. Shen is the force which keeps you 
alive, and it is also the control tower for the Qi. When your Shen is strong, your Qi is strong and you 
can lead it efficiently. When your Shen is weak, your Qi is weak and the body will degenerate 
rapidly. Likewise, Qi supports the Shen, energizing them and keeping them sharp, clear, and strong. 
If the Qi in your body is weak, your Shen will also be weak. 

Once you know the residence of your Shen, you must understand the root of your Shen, and learn 
how to nourish it and make it grow. We have already discussed Original Essence (Yuan 
Jing/t’M' .) which is the essential life inherited from your parents. After your birth, this Original 
Essence is your most important energy source. Your Original Qi (Yuan Qi,*-&)is created from this 
Original Essence, and it mixes with the Qi generated from the food you eat and the air you breathe to 
supply the energy for your growth and activity. Naturally, this mixed Qi is nourishing your Shen as 
well. While the Fire Qi will energize your Shen, Water Qi will strengthen the wisdom mind to 
control the energized Shen. The Shen which is kept in its residence by the Yi, which is nourished by 
the Original Qi, is called Original Shen (Yuan Shen,*-# ) Therefore, the root of your Original Shen 
is traced back to your Original Essence. When your Shen is energized but restrained by your Yi it is 
called “Jing Shen’t^^ klite rally “Essence Shen,” which is commonly translated “spirit of vitality.” 
Original Shen is thought of as the center of your being. It is able to make you calm, clear your 
mind, and firm your will. When you concentrate your mind on doing something, it is called “Ju Jing 
Hui Shen’l.&^fr*'? ) -which means “gathering your Jing to meet your Shen.” This implies that when 
you concentrate, you must use your Original Essence to meet and lift up your Original Shen, so that 
your mind will be calm, steady, and concentrated. Since this Shen is nourished by your Original Qi, 
which is considered Water Qi, Original Shen is considered Water Shen. 

For those who have reached a higher level of Qigong practice, cultivating the Shen becomes the 
most important subject. For Buddhists and Daoists the final goal of cultivating the Shen is to form or 
generate a Holy Embryo (Xian TaU J ’^ )from their Shen, and nourish it until the spiritual baby is 
born and can be independent. For the average Qigong practitioner however, the final goal of 
cultivating Shen is to raise the Shen through Qi nourishment while maintaining control with the Yi. 
This raised Shen can direct and govern the Qi efficiently to achieve health and longevity. 

In conclusion, we would like to point out that your Shen and brain cannot be separated. Shen is the 
spiritual part of your being and is generated and controlled by your mind. The mind generates the 
will, which keeps the Shen firm. The Chinese commonly use Shen (spirit) and Zhi (will) together as 



“Shen Zhi”(^'i .^because they are so related. In addition, you should understand that when your 
Shen is raised and firm, this raised spirit will firm your will. They are mutually related, and assist 
each other. From this you can see that the material foundation of the spirit is your brain. When it is 
said “nourish your Shen,” it means “nourish your brain.” As we discussed previously, the original 
nourishing source is your Jing. This Jing is then converted into Qi, which is led to the brain to 
nourish and energize it. In Qigong practice, this process is called “Fan Jing Bu 
Nao”(*S^^ ^ hwhich means “to return the Jing to nourish the brain.” 



3-2. Yi and Xin 


Chinese people will frequently use both “Yi”(& )and “Xin”(^’ )at different times to mean “mind,” 
often confusing people who are not familiar with the Chinese language. Before advancing any 
further, you should first be sure that you have a clear understanding of the subtle differences between 
these two words. 

Yi is the mind which is related to wisdom and judgment. When Yi has an idea, it strives to bring it 
to actualization in the physical world as either an event you will seek to bring about, or as an object 
you will create. The Yi is focused and firmed by the will. 

Chinese people also use the word “Xin” to mean “mind,” although the word literally means 
“heart.” While Xin also denotes the presence of an idea, this idea is much weaker than that expressed 
in Yi. Xin is generated from and affected by the emotions. This mind is passive instead of active like 
the Yi. When someone says he has Yi to do something, this means he intends to do it. If he says he 
has Xin to do it, this means his emotions intend to do it, he has within him the desire to do it, but he 
may lack the strength of resolve to actually commit himself. For example, your wisdom mind (Yi) 
knows you must do something before a certain deadline, but your emotional mind (Xin) tries to 
convince you that it is not a big deal, and you needn’t worry too much about it. In most people, the 
emotional mind is stronger than the wisdom mind. They act according to how they feel, instead of 
what they think. We’ve all heard the comment at one time or another: “You’re your own worst 
enemy.” Your emotional mind is your wisdom mind’s enemy. The emotional mind is the source of 
laziness, bad temper, emotional upset, and so on. If your wisdom mind is able to dominate your 
emotional mind, you will surely be a success in whatever you attempt. 

Sometimes people will put both words together and say “Xin Yf’C^fe^o denote the mind which 
is generated from both emotion and thought. Since most of the thought was generated and given its 
primal nature by the emotions first, before being refined by the will, the word Xin is placed before 
Yi. This is a good example of how Xin is used to denote the emotional mind, and Yi is used for the 
mind of wisdom, intention, and will. In meditation society it is said: “Yi Xin Hui 
Yi”( ). which means “modulate the Xin (emotional mind) to match the Yi (wisdom mind).” 

This means that the emotional aspect and the wisdom aspect of your mind must work together in 
harmony during meditation. Only then will you be able to use your Yi to regulate your body, for it is 
also said: “Yi Yi Hui Shen”^ £ )which means “use your Yi to meet the body.” 

Xin and Shen are commonly used together as “Xin Shen”('^'t+)“This refers to the emotional mind 
which affects or is affected by Shen. When a person is absent-minded or confused, people say “Xin 
Shen Bu Ning’^'^'# T* £ ), which means “mind and spirit are not stable.” Spirit is also related to Yi, 
or the wisdom mind. However, the Yi aspect of the mind is still the strongest, being generated from 
thought and will. This mind can firm the scattered emotional mind and the spirit, thereby raising the 
spirit. When the spirit is raised and firmed, the emotional mind (Xin) will be steady. “Yi” is 
commonly used together with will — “Yi Zhi”(& ■k.bThis implies that the wisdom mind and the will 
are working together. The wisdom mind is firmed by the will, and the will firms the wisdom mind. 

In Chinese Qigong society it is believed that the emotional mind (Xin) is mainly generated from 
the Post-birth Qi or Food Qi (Shi Qi/^ft) which is converted from the food Essence, while the 
wisdom mind (Yi) comes from the Pre-birth Qi (Yuan Qi,^ & )which is converted from the Original 
Essence you inherited from your parents. The Post-birth Qi is considered to be “Fire” Qi, while the 
Pre-birth Qi is considered “Water” Qi. It is believed that your emotions and temper are closely 
related to the food you eat. It can be seen that the animals who eat plants are more tame and non- 
violent than the animals which eat meat. Generally speaking, food which generates excessive Qi in 



the Middle Dan Tian usually makes the body more positive and makes the person more emotional. 
This effect can also be caused by dirty air, dirty thoughts, or the surrounding Qi (for example, in the 
summer when it is too hot). Certain foods and drugs can also directly interfere with clear thinking. 
For example, alcohol and drugs can stimulate your emotional mind and suppress your wisdom mind. 
The Qi generated from food is normally classified as Fire Qi, and it can reside in the Middle Dan 
Tian (solar plexus). 

One part of Qigong training is learning how to regulate your Fire Qi and Water Qi so that they are 
balanced. This involves learning to use your wisdom mind to dominate and direct your emotional 
mind. One of the more common methods of strengthening the Water Qi (and wisdom mind) and 
weakening the Fire Qi (and emotional mind) is to greatly reduce or eliminate meat from the diet, and 
live mainly on vegetables. Daoists and Buddhists periodically fast in order to weaken the Fire Qi as 
much as possible, which allows them to strengthen their Water Qi and wisdom mind. This process of 
“cleaning” their bodies and minds is important in ridding the monks of emotional disturbance. 



3-3. Dan Tian 



Dan Tian(. ft 31 )is translated literally as “Elixir Field.” In Chinese Qigong society, three spots are 
considered Dan Tian. The first one is called “Xia Dan Tian” (Lower Dan Tian,T -ft ® ,)-In Chinese 
medicine it is called Qihai (Co-6, & .) which means “Qi Ocean.” It is located about one to one and a 

half inches below your navel and about one to two inches deep, depending of course on the 
individual. In both Chinese medicine and Qigong society, the Lower Dan Tian is considered the 
well-spring of human energy. It is the residence of Original Qi (Yuan Qi,*- £-.)> which has been 
converted from Original Essence (Yuan Jing,A# .)■ 

Figure 3-1. Conception and Governing Vessels 


The human body has twelve Qi channels which are like rivers of Qi. They circulate Qi throughout 
the body, and connect the organs to the extremities. In addition to these twelve Qi rivers, there are 
eight “extraordinary Qi vessels.” These are like reservoirs of Qi, and they regulate the flow of Qi in 


the rivers (the twelve channels). In order to be healthy, the Qi reservoirs must be full and the Qi must 
flow smoothly without stagnation in the rivers (see the detailed explanation of human Qi circulation 
in Part 3). 

Among the eight vessels is the Conception Vessel (Ren Mai, -which is Yin, and the 
Governing Vessel (Du Mai, 7 ® 1 ^ .) -which is Yang. They are located on the center line of the front and 
the back of the torso and head, respectively, and run into one another, creating a closed loop about 
the body (Figure 3-1). The Qi in these two vessels must be full and circulate smoothly in order to 
regulate all of the Qi in the twelve rivers properly. At any particular time, there is a section of this 
circle where the Qi flow is stronger than in the other sections. This section is called “Zi Wu Liu 
Zhu”('f Which means “mid-night and noon major flow,” and it keeps the Qi flowing in these 
two vessels. Qi behaves like water. If there is no difference in potential the Qi will stay still and 
become stagnant, and you are likely to become ill. Normally, this area of stronger Qi moves around 
the circle of these two vessels once every day. 


Figure 3-2. Huiyin cavity (Co-1) 



Chinese Qigong practitioners believe that the Qi must be full and circulate strongly in these two 
vessels, for then they will be able to govern the entire body’s Qi effectively. They also believe that as 
a child you continually move the abdomen while breathing, which keeps the path of these two 
vessels clear. However, as you get older and gradually lose the habit of this abdominal movement, 
the path becomes obstructed and the Qi circulation weakens. The most significant blockage can 


occur in the Huiyin cavity (Co-l,^^)(Figure 3-2). Try an experiment. Use one finger to press 
firmly at your Huiyin cavity while your abdomen is moving in and out. You will discover that the 
Huiyin cavity moves up and down in sync with the in and out motion of the abdomen. It is this up 
and down motion of the perineum which keeps the Huiyin cavity clear for Qi circulation. For this 
reason, exercises which move the abdomen in and out are called “Fan Tong”(^^)(back to 
childhood) exercises. 

Abdominal exercises not only open the Qi channels, they can also draw Original Qi from its 
residence in the Lower Dan Tian to join the Post-birth Qi in its circulation. Original Qi is considered 
the original vital source of human energy. Therefore, in and out abdominal exercise is also called “Qi 
Huo’t^^-.) which means “start the fire.” This hints at the way the Daoists build up Qi energy. The 
Daoists consider the Dan Tian to be the furnace in which they can purify and distill the elixir (Qi) for 
longevity. 

The second of the three Dan Tians is called the Middle Dan Tian (Zhong Dan Tian,! 1 fl -1 ® .hand it is 
located at the solar plexus. The Middle Dan Tian is considered the center where the Post-birth Qi is 
produced and gathered. Post-birth Qi is the energy which is converted from the Jing (essence) of air 
and food. Post-birth Qi is affected therefore by the type of food you eat and the quality of the air you 
breathe. The level of your Post-birth Qi is also influenced by such things as whether you are getting 
enough sleep, whether you are tired, irritable, nervous, sad, and so on. 

It is believed in Chinese medical society that the lungs and the heart are the places where the air 
Jing is converted into Qi. The stomach and the digestive system are the center where the food Jing is 
absorbed and then converted into Qi. This Qi then resides at the Middle Dan Tian, and follows the 
Conception and Governing Vessels to disperse throughout the entire body. The conversion of air and 
food to Qi is similar to the burning of wood to give heat. Therefore, the lung area is called the Upper 
Burner (Shang Jiao,- &) 'the stomach is called the Middle Burner (Zhong Jiao,'! 1 & )<and the lower 
abdomen is called the Lower Burner (Xia Jiao,T A f -The three are referred to collectively as the 
“Triple Burner” (Sanjiao,— £)■ 

You can deduce from the above description that the Upper Burner is the burner which handles air 
Qi, while the Middle and Lower Burners handle food Qi. The Lower Burner, in addition to 
separating the pure from the impure and eliminating waste, also processes the Lower Dan Tian Qi. 
When someone has eaten too much positive food such as peanuts or sesame seeds, the excess Qi will 
cause heat. This is called “Shang Huo”(-LjO which means simply that the body is “on fire.” When 
you don’t get enough sleep, the body can also pass into the “on fire” state. When the Post-birth Qi is 
too positive, it is called “Huo Qi”( which means “Fire Qi.” 

When the Post-birth Qi is too positive and is directed to the organs, the organs will become 
positive and degenerate faster. When the Post-birth Qi is too weak, for example because of 
starvation, there is not enough Qi to supply the organs and the body, and you will gradually become 
more unbalanced until you become ill. Most people get more than enough food, so their Post-birth Qi 
is too positive. For this reason, Post-birth Qi is usually called Fire Qi. There is a Qigong practice 
which leads the Water Qi (Pre-birth Qi) at the Lower Dan Tian up to mix with the Fire Qi (Post-birth 
Qi) at the Middle Dan Tian in order to cool the Fire Qi. 

The third Dan Tian is located on the forehead and is called the Upper Dan Tian (Shang Dan 
Tian, 11 ^ ® )-Your brain uses a lot of energy (Qi) for thinking. This Qi is supplied by one of the 
vessels called Chong Mai (Thrusting Vessel,®^) which flows through the spinal cord up to the 
brain. Your spirit resides in your Upper Dan Tian, and when it is amply supplied with Qi, it is 
“raised,” or energized. If the Qi stopped nourishing your brain and spirit, you would lose your 
mental center, your judgment would become faulty, and you would become depressed and mentally 
unbalanced. 

You can see from this discussion that all three Dan Tians are located on the Conception Vessel. 



The Conception Vessel and the Governing Vessel together form the most important Qi reservoir in 
the body, and it is important for it to be full. 



3-4. Three Flowers Reach the Top (San Hua Ju Ding, ) 


Daoists commonly call the three treasures (Jing, Qi, and Shen,'^ 1 & ‘ ^Xhe three flowers. One of 
the final goals of Daoist Qigong training is to gather the three flowers at the top of the head (San Hua 
Ju Ding). 

The normal Daoist Qigong training process is: 1. to convert the Jing (essence) into Qi (Yi Jing 
Hua Qi,«fHfc&);2. to nourish the Shen (spirit) with Qi (Yi Qi Hua Shen,^ to refine the 

Shen into emptiness (Lian Shen Fan )land 4. Crush the Emptiness (Fen Sui Xu 

Kong, !; ' £ : '-The first step is to firm and strengthen the Jing, then convert this Jing into Qi 
through meditation or other methods. This Qi is then led to the top of the head to nourish the brain 
and raise the Shen. When a Daoist has reached this stage, it is called “the three flowers meet on the 
top.” This stage is necessary to gain health and longevity. Now the Daoist can start training to reach 
the goal of enlightenment. 



3-5. Five Qi’s Toward Their Origins (Wu Qi Chao Yuan, J 


According to Chinese medical science, among the twelve main organs are five Yin organs which 
have a great effect on the health. These five organs are: heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and spleen. If 
any internal organ does not have the appropriate level of Qi, it is either too Yang (positive) or too 
Yin (negative). When this happens, it is like running the wrong level of electric current into a 
machine. If the condition remains uncorrected, the organs will run less efficiently. This will affect 
the body’s metabolism, and eventually even damage the organs. Therefore, one of the most 
important practices in Qigong training is learning to keep the Qi in these five organs at the proper 
level. When the Qi of these organs has reached the appropriate levels it is called “Wu Qi Chao 
Yuan,” which means “the five Qi’s toward their origins.” Your organs can now function optimally, 
and your health will be maintained at a high level. 

There are twelve Qi channels and eight extraordinary Qi vessels. The Qi in the twelve channels 
should be at the levels appropriate for the corresponding organs. The Qi in these twelve channels 
changes with the time of day, the seasons, and the year. This Qi is affected by the food you eat, the 
air you breathe, and your emotions. Therefore, in order to keep your five Qi’s at their right levels, 
you must know how Qi is affected by time, food, and air, and you must learn how to regulate your 
emotions. 



CHAPTER 4 


Qi and the Human Body 

In order to understand human Qigong, you must understand the nature of the Qi in the human body, 
and how it functions. This includes understanding what kinds of Qi are in the body, what functions 
they perform, and how they carry out these functions. 

In the first three chapters we have offered a general definition of Qi, discussed how human Qi is 
included in and affected by Heaven Qi and Earth Qi, and shown how Qi relates to other aspects of 
our bodies, such as spirit and essence. In Part Three of this book we will review how Qi circulates in 
the human body. 

In this chapter we will first focus on the general characteristics of Qi in our bodies. This will 
provide a foundation to help you understand the rest of the chapter. We will then concentrate on a 
number of subjects which will lead you to a deeper understanding of human Qi, such as Qi’s Yin and 
Yang, and the quality of Qi. Once you understand the traditional concept of Qi, we will discuss the 
modern concept of bioelectromagnetic energy. Following this, we will offer some hypotheses based 
upon this energy which Western science has recently discovered. Finally, we will discuss the theory 
of how Qi gates can be opened through Qigong practice. 



4-1. About Qi 


In this section, we will first discuss the natural characteristics of Qi and the relationship between 
Qi and the human body. Then we will explain how Qi’s Yin and Yang are defined, and how the 
quality of Qi is determined. 



The Nature of Qi 


To understand the nature of Qi, you should first know where Qi originates. Something cannot 
come from nothing, so Qi (any type of energy) must come from matter, usually through some kind 
of chemical reaction. Matter is a physical form of energy, and energy is an unlocked potential (or an 
insubstantial form) of matter. For example, you may burn a piece of wood or gas and obtain Qi in the 
form of heat and light. Similarly, food and air are taken into your body, and through biochemical 
reaction are converted into Qi, which is commonly in the form of heat and bioelectromagnetic 
energy. Whenever you take in more food than your body requires, the unexcreted excess is stored in 
your body as fat. 

Next you should understand that Qi generally manifests as heat, light, potential energy (e.g., 
gravity), and/or electromagnetic energy. Strictly speaking, heat (infrared) and light are alternative 
forms of electromagnetic waves, so, in effect, there are only two types of energy that we deal with in 
our daily lives — electromagnetic and potential energy. Often light and heat exist at the same time. 

Finally, you should recognize that Qi moves from the area of higher potential to the area of lower 
potential, and this acts to naturally and automatically bring your system into balance. 



Qi in the Human Body 


Although, according to the general definition, heat is considered a type of human Qi, heat is not 
the type of Qi which is circulating in your body. Oftentimes you will feel heat when Qi is circulating 
strongly, but the heat is not the circulating Qi itself. There is another type of Qi which circulates 
throughout your body to nourish the cells and keep them functioning, and even to repair damage. 

Since electricity has become more familiar to people in China over the last fifty years, many 
Qigong practitioners have come to believe that the Qi which circulates in the body is actually 
electromagnetic energy. If you run an electric current through a wire, the wire will heat up because 
of the resistance of the wire. The heat is an effect caused by the current, but it is not the current itself. 
According to this theory, as Qi circulates through your body, the resistance of your body causes part 
of the Qi to be converted into heat. 

Qigong practitioners believe that the light which is sometimes perceived during meditation is also 
Qi. Light is a form of electromagnetic energy. Since all types of energy are convertible, heat can 
generate electromagnetic power and vice versa, and light can also generate heat, and vice versa. 
Once you have reached the higher levels of meditation, you will sense light in your eyes and mind. 
At an even higher level, your head will generate a glow like a halo. All of these can be considered 
transformations that the electric Qi undergoes when your training has reached a higher level. 



The Behavior of Human Qi 


Chinese doctors and Qigong practitioners have traditionally described the behavior of Qi as being 
similar to water. This is seen in a number of ways. First, just as water flows from higher areas to 
lower areas, Qi flows from areas of higher potential to areas of lower potential. In this way, Qi 
balances itself naturally. Second, if muddy water is left undisturbed, the sand will settle to the 
bottom, leaving the water above it calm and clear. However, if you stir up the water, the sand will 
rise up and dirty the water again. This is similar to how, when the mind is steady, the Qi will be calm 
and clear, but when the mind is scattered, the Qi will be disturbed and excited. Third, the Qi channels 
which supply Qi to the entire body are usually compared to rivers, and the vessels which store the Qi 
are compared to reservoirs. Water and Qi should both flow smoothly and continuously. When a river 
or channel is obstructed, the water/Qi flow will be agitated and uneven. In an obstructed channel, the 
water/Qi flow will be higher, and may overflow the banks. 



Qi’s Yin and Yang 


When it is said that Qi can be either Yin or Yang, it does not mean that there are two different 
kinds of Qi like male and female, fire and water, or positive and negative charges. Qi is energy, and 
energy itself does not have Yin and Yang. It is like the energy which is generated from the sparking 
of negative and positive charges. Charges have the potential of generating energy but are not the 
energy itself. 

When it is said that Qi is Yin or Yang, it means that the Qi is too strong or too weak for a 
particular circumstance. It is relative and not absolute. Naturally, this implies that the potential which 
generates the Qi is strong or weak. For example, the Qi from the sun is Yang Qi and Qi from the 
moon is Yin Qi. This is because the sun’s energy is Yang in comparison to Human Qi, while to 
moon’s is Yin. In any discussion of energy where people are involved, Human Qi is used as the 
standard. People are always especially interested in what concerns them directly, so it is natural that 
we are interested primarily in Human Qi and tend to view all Qi from the perspective of Human Qi. 
This is not unlike looking at the universe from the perspective of the Earth. 

When we look at the Yin and Yang of Qi within and in regard to the human body, however, we 
must redefine our point of reference. For example, when a person is dead, his residual Human Qi 
(Gui Qi,-&&.or ghost Qi) is weak compared to a living person’s. Therefore, the ghost’s Qi is Yin 
while the living person’s is Yang. When discussing Qi within the body, in the Lung Channel for 
example, the reference point is the normal, healthy status of the Qi there. If the Qi is stronger than it 
is in the normal state, it is Yang, and, naturally, if it is weaker than this, it is Yin. There are twelve 
parts of the human body that are considered organs in Chinese medicine, six of them are Yin and six 
are Yang. The Yin organs are the Heart, Lungs, Kidneys, Liver, Spleen, and Pericardium, and the 
Yang organs are Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Stomach, Gall Bladder, Urinary Bladder, and 
Triple Burner. Generally speaking, the Qi level of the Yin organs is lower than that of the Yang 
organs. The Yin organs store Original Essence and process the Essence obtained from food and air, 
while the Yang organs handle the digestion and excretion. We will discuss this subject in more detail 
in the Part Three of this book. 

When the Qi in any of your organs is not in its normal state, you feel uncomfortable. If it is very 
much off from the normal state, the organ will start to malfunction, and you may become sick. When 
this happens, the Qi in your entire body will also be affected and you will feel too Yang, perhaps 
feverish, or too Yin, such as the weakness after diarrhea. 

Your body’s Qi level is also affected by natural circumstances such as the weather, climate, and 
seasonal changes. Therefore, when the body’s Qi level is classified, the reference point is the level 
which feels most comfortable for those particular circumstances. Naturally, each of us is a little bit 
different, and what feels best and most natural for one person may be a bit different from what is 
right for another person. That is why the doctor will usually ask “How do you feel?” It is according 
to your own standard that you are judged. 

Breath is closely related to the state of your Qi, and therefore also considered Yin or Yang. When 
you exhale you expel air from your Lungs, your mind moves outward, and the Qi around the body 
expands. In the Chinese martial arts, the exhale is generally used to expand the Qi to energize the 
muscles during an attack. Therefore, you can see that the exhale is Yang — it is expanding, 
offensive, and strong. Naturally, based on the same theory, the inhale is considered Yin. 

Your breathing is closely related to your emotions. When you lose your temper, your breathing is 
short and fast, i.e. Yang. When you are sad, your body is more Yin, and you inhale more than you 
exhale in order to absorb the Qi from the air to balance the body’s Yin to bring the body back into 



balance. When you are excited and happy, your body is Yang. You exhale longer than you inhale in 
order to get rid of the excess Yang which is caused by the excitement. 

As mentioned before, your mind is also closely related to your Qi. Therefore, when your Qi is 
Yang, your mind is usually also Yang (excited) and vice versa. In addition, as we discussed in the 
previous section, the mind can also be classified according to the Qi that generates it. The mind (Yi) 
that is generated from the calm and peaceful Qi obtained from Original Essence is considered Yin. 
The mind (Xin) that originates with the food and air Essence is emotional, scattered, and excited, and 
it is considered Yang. Finally, the Shen, which is related to the Qi, can also be classified as Yang or 
Yin based on its origin. 

Do not confuse Yin Qi and Yang Qi with Fire Qi and Water Qi. When the Yin and Yang of Qi are 
mentioned, it refers to the level of Qi according to some reference point. However, when Water Qi 
and Fire Qi are mentioned, it refers to the quality of the Qi. This will be discussed in the next section. 



The Quality of Human Qi 


Some people think that Qi is of good quality when it is neither too Yin nor too Yang. However, 
they are wrong. When Qi is neither too Yin nor too Yang, this means that the level of the Qi is right. 
It is a quantitative statement rather than a qualitative one. The quality of Qi refers to its purity, as 
well as its contents. This quality depends on where and how the Qi originated. Usually, the quality of 
the Qi determines how it behaves and how it affects the body’s Yin and Yang when it is circulating 
in your body. 

Within the human body, Qigong practitioners have generally categorized Qi into “Fire Qi” and 
“Water Qi” to express the qualitative purity of the Qi. The terms “Fire” and “Water” indicate the 
effects that the Qi has on our body. For example, when Qi that is impure or of poor quality circulates 
in the human body, it may cause heat in the body and organs, and make the body too Yang. It is 
therefore called “Fire Qi.” If, however, the Qi is pure, clean, and circulating smoothly, it will enable 
the body to remain calm, keep the mind clear and steady, and allow the body to function properly. 
This Qi is called “Water Qi” because it is the Qi which enables the body to remain calm and cool, 
like water. 

In the thousands of years that Qigong has been studied, practitioners have found that the Qi that 
comes from “Original Jing” (and is therefore called Original Qi) is “Water Qi.” It is pure and 
smooth, like sunshine in the winter, like crystal-pure water flowing smoothly in a stream, very 
comfortable and natural. This Qi makes it possible for the wisdom mind (Yi) to remain calm and 
grow stronger. When this Qi is circulating in the human body, it is smooth and will keep the physical 
body functioning in a steady, calm, and Yin state. 

Conversely, the Qi which comes from food and air is not of as high a quality as Original Qi. 
Because the body cannot discriminate between good and bad raw materials, many undesirable 
ingredients in the food and air are also converted into Qi. The quality of this Qi is dirty, and 
nonuniform, like water that has been polluted. When this Qi goes to your brain, it can excite your 
emotions and upset your emotional balance. When this Qi is circulating in your body, the 
undesirable ingredients can change the body into Yang and cause problems. For example, the Qi 
which was converted from fat can convert back into fat, and plug up the Qi paths. Plugged up Qi 
channels can have undesirable effects, such as high blood pressure, which speeds up the degeneration 
of the internal organs. For this the reason, diet is a part of Qigong practice. Generally speaking, the 
Qi generated from food which comes from animal sources has more contaminants than the Qi 
generated from food obtained from plants. 

You can see from this discussion that it is very important to distinguish both the level of Qi and its 
quality. The level of Qi (Yin or Yang) depends on the circumstances, and must have a reference 
point. The quality of Qi depends upon the Essence from which it comes. 



4-2. Qi and Bioelectromagnetic Energy 


In ancient China, people had very little knowledge of electricity. They only knew from 
acupuncture that when a needle was inserted into the acupuncture cavities, some kind of energy other 
than heat was produced which often caused a shock or a tickling sensation. It was not until the last 
few decades, when the Chinese people were more acquainted with electromagnetic science, that they 
began to recognize that this energy circulating in the body, which they called Qi, might be the same 
thing as what today’s science calls “bioelectricity.” 

It is understood now that the human body is constructed of many different electrically conductive 
materials, and it forms a living electromagnetic field and circuit. Electromagnetic energy is 
continuously being generated in the human body through the biochemical reaction of food and air, 
and circulated by the electromotive (or electromagnetic) forces (EMF) generated within the body by, 
for example, thinking or movement. 

In addition, you are also constantly being affected by external electromagnetic fields such as that 
of the earth, or the electrical fields generated by clouds. When you practice Chinese medicine or 
Qigong, you need to be aware of these outside factors and take them into account. 

Countless experiments have been conducted in China, Japan, and other countries to study how 
external magnetic or electrical fields can affect and adjust the body’s Qi field. Many acupuncturists 
use magnets and electricity in their treatments. They attach a magnet to the skin over a cavity and 
leave it there for a period of time. The magnetic field gradually affects the Qi circulation in that 
channel. Alternatively, they insert needles into cavities and then run an electric current through the 
needle to reach the Qi channels directly. Although many experimenters have claimed a degree of 
success in their experiments, none has been able to publish any detailed and convincing proof of his 
results, or give a good explanation of the theory behind his experiment. As with many other attempts 
to explain the How and Why of acupuncture, conclusive proof is elusive, and many unanswered 
questions remain. Of course, this theory is quite new, and it will probably take a lot more study and 
research before it is verified and completely understood. At present, there are many conservative 
acupuncturists who are skeptical. 

To untie this knot, we must look at what modern Western science has discovered about 
bioelectromagnetic energy. Many bioelectric related reports have been published, and frequently the 
results are closely related to what is experienced in Chinese Qigong training and medical science. 
For example, during the electrophysiological research of the 1960’s, several investigators discovered 
that bones are piezoelectric; that is, when they are stressed, mechanical energy is converted to 
electrical energy in the form of electric current. 1 This might explain one of the practices of Marrow 
Washing Qigong in which the stress on the bones and muscles is increased in certain ways to 
increase the Qi circulation (electric circulation). 

Dr. Robert O. Becker has done important work in this field. His book The Body Electric reports 
on much of the research concerning the body’s electric field. 1 It is presently believed that food and 
air are the fuel which generates the electricity in the body through biochemical reaction. This 
electricity, which is circulated throughout the entire body through electrically conductive tissue, is 
one of the main energy sources which keep the cells of the physical body alive. 

Whenever you have an injury or are sick, your body’s electrical circulation is affected. If this 
circulation of electricity stops, you die. But bioelectric energy not only maintains life, it is also 
responsible for repairing physical damage. Many researchers have sought ways of using external 
electrical or magnetic fields to speed up the body’s recovery from physical injury. Richard Leviton 
reports that “Researchers at Loma Linda University’s School of Medicine in California have found. 


following studies in sixteen countries with over 1,000 patients, that low-frequency, low intensity 
magnetic energy has been successful in treating chronic pain related to tissue ischemia, and also 
worked in clearing up slow-healing ulcers, and in 90 percent of patients tested, raised blood flow 
significantly.” 4 

Mr. Leviton also reports that every cell of the body functions like an electric battery and is able to 
store electric charges. He reports that: “Other biomagnetic investigators take an even closer look to 
find out what is happening, right down to the level of the blood, the organs, and the individual cell, 
which they regard as ‘a small electric battery’.” 4 This has convinced me that our entire body is just 
like a big battery which is assembled from millions of small batteries. All of these batteries together 
form the human electromagnetic field. 

Furthermore, much of the research on the body’s electrical field relates to acupuncture. For 
example, Dr. Becker reports that the conductivity of the skin is much higher at acupuncture cavities, 
and that it is now possible to locate them precisely by measuring the skin’s conductivity. Many of 
these reports prove that the acupuncture which has been done in China for thousands of years is 
reasonable and scientific. 

Some researchers use the theory of the body’s electricity to explain many of the ancient “miracles” 
which have been attributed to the practice of Qigong. A report by Albert L. Huebner states: “These 
demonstrations of body electricity in human beings may also offer a new explanation of an ancient 
healing practice. If weak external fields can produce powerful physiological effects, it may be that 
fields from human tissues in one person are capable of producing clinical improvements in another. 
In short, the method of healing known as the laying on of hands could be an especially subtle form of 
electrical stimulation.” 4 

Another frequently reported phenomenon is that when a Qigong practitioner has reached a high 
level of development, a halo would appear behind and/or around his head during meditation. This is 
commonly seen in paintings of Jesus Christ, the Buddha, and other Oriental gods. Frequently the 
light is pictured as surrounding the whole body. This phenomenon may again be explained by body 
electric theory. When a person has cultivated his Qi (electricity) to a high level, the Qi may be led to 
accumulate in the head. This Qi may then interact with the oxygen molecules in the air, and ionize 
them, causing them to glow. 

Although the link between the theory of the body electric and the Chinese theory of Qi is 
becoming more accepted and better proven, there are still many questions still to be answered. For 
example, how can the mind lead Qi (electricity)? How actually does the mind generate an EMF 
(electromotive force) to circulate the electricity in the body? How is the human electromagnetic field 
affected by the multitude of other electric fields which surround us, such as radio and television 
waves, or the fields generated by household electrical wiring or electrical appliances? How can we 
readjust our electromagnetic fields and survive in outer space or on other planets where the magnetic 
field is completely different from earth’s? You can see that the future of Qigong and bioelectric 
science is a challenging and exciting one. It is about time that we started to use the modern 
technologies to understand the inner energy world which has been ignored by Western society. 


4-3. Some Hypotheses 


There are a number of questions which have puzzled Qigong practitioners and acupuncturists for 
many years. If Qi is the same thing as what is now being called bioelectricity, which Western 
medical science is just discovering, then certain deductions or hypotheses can be made that might 
offer convincing explanations for many of these puzzles. In this section I will try to link together 
these aspects of Eastern and Western sciences, based on my understanding. In this section, I would 
like to raise some questions and draw some hypotheses concerning, for example, how a human body 
may react to and be influenced by external electromagnetic fields such as that of the Earth. I hope 
this section will stimulate your thinking and help the more conservative Qigong practitioners to 
accept this new science and participate in future analysis and discussion. 



The Electromagnetic Field in the Human Body 


How Is the Human Electromagnetic Field Formed? Since we and all other living things are formed 
and live in the Earth’s magnetic field, our bodies also have a magnetic field of their own. The 
magnetic field of our body always corresponds with and is affected by the Earth’s field. Modern 
science has shown that magnetic fields and electrical fields cannot be separated (Faraday’s Law and 
Maxwell’s equations), and indeed are aspects of the same force. Where there is one, there is also the 
other. This type of field is commonly called an electromagnetic field. 

Before we discuss how are we affected by the Earth’s magnetic field, you must first understand 
the difference between four terms that are often confused: 1. The north and south poles of a magnet; 
2. The North and the South Magnetic Poles of the Earth; 3. The geographic North and the South 
Poles of the Earth; and 4. The actual north and south poles of the Earth-magnet. 

A piece of bar magnet has two poles, the north and south poles. The lines of force outside of the 
magnet start from the north pole and end at the south pole while the lines inside the magnet go from 
the south pole to the north pole (Figure 4-1). This is defined as the north and the south poles of a 
magnet. 

Now let us take a look at the basics of the Earth’s magnetism. If we place a bar magnet in the 
Earth’s magnetic field, the magnet will align itself with the Earth’s field. The “north” pole of this bar 
magnet is the ‘north-seeking pole,’ which points toward North of the Earth’s magnetic field, which is 
called the “North Pole” (Figure 4-2). Naturally, the pole which points to the South is defined as the 
“south pole.” Therefore, the poles on a magnet are defined according to the directions they point to 
within the Earth’s magnetic field. 

Furthermore, we have defined the pole of the Earth toward which a magnet’s north pole points as 
the Earth’s “Magnetic North Pole” while the other end is the Earth’s “Magnetic South Pole.” 
Essentially, this means that, for ease of navigation and through convention, the Earth’s Magnetic 
North Pole is for all intents and purposes considered to lie in the same direction as the Earth’s 
Geographic North Pole. In fact, however, the geographic North and the South poles of the Earth do 
not actually coincide with the magnetic poles. 

Figure 4-1. Magnetic field of a magnet 



Figure 4-2. The Earth’s magnetic field 



Figure 4-3. Current loop inside Earth 



Let us take a closer look. We know that permanent magnets are collections of current loops 
(Figure 4-3). If the axis of the assumed current loop is more or less along the direction of the Earth’s 
axis of rotation, the magnetic North Pole will approximately coincide with the geographic North 


Pole, as it actually does. In fact, the magnetic North Pole is in northern Canada. This means that a 
compass needle does not point exactly north except at certain places. The difference between 
geographic north and magnetic north is called magnetic declination. This quantity varies from about 
25 degrees East to 20 degrees West for different places in the United States, and also varies slowly 
from year to year (Figure 4-4). 

We also know that the Earth’s magnetic field has started at the geographic South Pole and ended 
at the geographic North Pole for at least the last million years (although evidence suggests that 
during the last several million years the magnetic poles of the Earth have reversed several times). £ £ 

In 1570, an English court physician, William Gilbert, constructed a permanent magnet in the form 
of a large lodestone sphere. He used a small compass needle to survey the magnetic field near the 
surface of the sphere and discovered that his model successfully represented the main features of the 
Earth’s magnetic field. In his survey, he discovered that in a point in the Northern Hemisphere, such 
as in England or the United States, the field is directed downward and to the north. Therefore, we 
can reasonably assume that a relatively short magnet, several hundred miles long, is buried deep 
inside the Earth. Since the lines of force are directed downward for an observer in the Northern 
Hemisphere, we may assume that the “Earth’s magnet” has an S pole on the end which is beneath the 
north magnetic pole. 4 Therefore, what we usually call the Earth’s North Magnetic Pole is actually the 
south pole of the Earth’s magnetic field. In other words, the actual magnetic poles of the Earth are 
the reverse of how they are shown on navigation maps (Figure 4-2). 


Figure 4-4. Lines of equal magnetic declination 


2 



10" E 


15 ° W 
10° W 


W 


0° E 


Figure 4-5. Dip needle 



Figure 4-6. The Earth’s magnetic field at Washington D.C. 



I 


The ordinary compass needle responds only to the horizontal component of the Earth’s magnetic 
field, since it is pivoted in such a way as to prevent up-and-down motion. If a magnetized needle is 
mounted so as to be free to swing in a vertical north-south plane, it is free to point in the direction of 
the field, and in the Northern Hemisphere it will assume a position in which it points downward and 
to the north. Such an instrument is called a dip needle (Figure 4-5). The angle of dip is measured 
from the horizontal. For example, values of the horizontal and vertical components of B for the 
Earth’s field at Washington, D.C., have shown that the vertical component is about three times the 
horizontal component at this location (Figure 4-6). 


Figure 4-7. A piece of steel becomes a magnet when placed in a magnetic field 



Once you have assimilated the above concepts, let us now analyze our body’s magnetic field. We 
know that when a piece of steel is placed inside a magnetic field, it becomes a magnet (Figure 4-7). 
Since our bodies are made up of conductive material, and we are in the magnetic field of the Earth, it 
is reasonable to assume that our bodies are like magnets. Since a magnet has two poles that must be 
located on the centerline of the magnet, we can easily guess that the poles of our bodies must be 
somewhere on the head and the bottom of the abdomen if we stand in either the Northern or 
Southern Hemisphere (Note: the Earth’s magnetic field passes through our bodies horizontally if we 
stand on the equator). The reason for this assumption is that the spinal cord is made of highly electric 
conductive fibers that connect the head to the sacrum. Thus, our task is to locate the poles of the 
human magnet. 


Figure 4-8. Human magnets in the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere 



Since your body’s magnetic field is formed under the influence of the Earth’s magnetic field, the 
north and south poles of your body will be determined by whether you are in the Northern or 
Southern Hemisphere. For example, if you are standing near the North Pole, then the lines of force 
of the Earth’s magnetic field will enter your body through your head and emerge from the bottom of 
your body. Naturally, if you are near the South Pole, then the lines of force of the Earth’s magnetic 
field will enter the bottom of your body and exit from your head (Figure 4-8). This means that if you 
are at the Earth’s North Pole your head will be a south pole while your abdomen will be a north pole. 
Naturally, the situation will be reversed if you are at the Earth’s South Pole. 


Figure 4-9. A human magnet in the Northern Hemisphere 


s 



I believe this means that if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, your brain (i.e., Upper Dan Tian) 
is constantly being nourished and stimulated by the energy from the Lower Dan Tian. However, if 
you live in the Southern Hemisphere, your Lower Dan Tian Qi will be stronger, and naturally the 
sexual energy will also be strong. This may be a possible explanation for why more human 
technology was developed in the Northern Hemisphere. 

When you are lying down or on the equator, the poles are on the sides of your body, and they 
change every time you move. This probably means that under these circumstances the Earth’s 
magnetic field only has a minimal effect on your body. 

Now let us discuss how this is related to Qigong. Assuming that you are in the Northern 
Hemisphere, your head should be a south pole while your abdomen is a north pole (Figure 4-9). 
Excluding all other factors such as location, weather, etc., the strength of your magnetic field 
depends on the natural qualities of your body. This may be what the Chinese mean by “Original 
Essence.” It is analogous to the fact that when you place high-quality, refined steel in a magnetic 
field, the magnet formed will have a stronger magnetic field than if you had used poorly refined 
steel. Since this magnet is stronger, the magnetic energy will last longer. Similarly, if you received 
high quality Original Essence from your parents, your body’s magnetic field will be strong, and the 
Qi or electrical energy circulating in your body will be strong and smooth. This means that your 
vitality will be great, and you will probably have a long and healthy life. 

If this line of reasoning is valid, then we are able to explain something that has been confusing 
Qigong meditators. According to past experience (mostly from meditators in the Northern 
Hemisphere), when a person meditates facing south he is able to obtain a stronger Qi flow and is able 
to balance his Qi more quickly than if he were facing another direction. Facing south lines up the 


incoming energy with the “Small Circulation” of energy down the center of the front of the body and 
up the spine. Since the front of the body is Yin, it absorbs energy more easily than the back or sides. 
Another possible explanation is related to the fact that we tend to turn and look at people who are 
talking to us as if this let us hear them better. Since your mind has a considerable influence on your 
body’s energy, facing into the incoming energy may also help you to absorb and “digest” it. We can 
also explain why many Qigong practitioners claim that if they sleep with their head pointing north 
they sleep better, and feel more rested and balanced the next morning. (However, if you sleep sitting 
up, you should again face south.) These two claims become reasonable and understandable if we 
accept the concept of a bipolar human magnetic field. 

It is clear that the energy patterns in the human body are affected by natural forces. It is also clear 
that the energy from the sun has a more significant affect than the energy from the earth. This leads 
me to believe that when you are meditating during the day you should face the east simply because 
the influence of the sun’s energy is more significant than that of the Earth’s magnetic field. During 
the night, when the influence of the sun has waned, it is probably best to face south if you are in the 
Northern Hemisphere. 

Within the human magnet, we may again assume that there are millions of smaller magnets that 
correspond to the cells (Figure 4-10). Just as every cell has its own minute electrical field, so too 
does each cell have its own magnetic field. Indeed, the two are merely different aspects of the same 
force. When all of these small magnetic fields are combined together, they form a complete human 
magnetic field. All of these magnetic fields remain steady as long as there is no other energy source 
to disturb them. However, whenever any extra energy is generated either inside or outside of this 
field, the field will no longer be steady, and an electrical current will be generated. Each time this 
happens, the body’s field must rebalance itself, and a new pattern of energy must be formed. 

This means that if there is no energy source for the human magnet, the magnetic field will not be 
disturbed and naturally there will be no energy circulating in this field. In this case the body is dead. 
However, when you are alive, food and air Essence generates energy inside your magnetic field 
through biochemical reaction. This energy builds up in your solar plexus, and then circulates 
throughout your body by way of the Qi channels, which are highly conductive paths through the 
fascial tissue. As the energy circulates in your body, it is important that every part, especially the 
organs, receives the right amount in order to function properly. 


Figure 4-10. Human magnets in the Northern Hemisphere 



s 



Let us take an even closer look. According to Chinese medical science, the electricity (Qi) 
circulates throughout your body from one channel to the next in a specific order. One end of each 
channel is therefore positive, and the other end negative. If an acupuncturist wishes to use a magnet 
to correct the Qi level of a channel, he must know how the magnetic field will influence the internal 
Qi circulation. He must know how Qi circulates and in what direction it circulates. He must also 
know how to orient the poles of the magnet. Wrong orientation will only worsen the situation. 
According to reports I have read about the use of magnets in acupuncture, sometimes it works and 
sometimes it doesn’t. Possibly the failures are due to the acupuncturist’s not taking the orientation of 
the magnets into account. 

Time and the Human Electromagnetic Field. Since we are part of the Earth’s electromagnetic 
field, our own fields are affected by variations in the Earth’s energy field. These variations can be 
caused by such sources as the moon, the sun, or even the stars. The most obvious cycle that we are 
exposed to is that of the day. Every twenty-four hours our bodies should go through a cycle as the 
Earth rotates once and goes through a cycle of light and day. The rotation of the Earth is in turn 
affected by the sun’s energy. It has been proposed that there is another cycle generated by the 
moon’s influence on the Earth’s energy pattern which repeats every twenty -eight days. Since the sun 
moves higher and lower above the southern horizon throughout the year, our bodies also go through 
a yearly cycle as well. The Chinese believe that the Earth and human beings go through other cycles 


every twelve and sixty years because of the influence of the stars. If you wish to study the human 
electromagnetic field, you must also take all of these cycles into your consideration. 

Human Magnetic Model. Based on the above information, I would like to offer a magnetic model 
for a human being in the Northern Hemisphere on Earth. In Qigong society it is common knowledge 
that there are three energy storage areas from which energy can be taken and used without limit. 
These three places are called Dan Tian, or the Fields of Elixir. The Lower Dan Tian is thought of as 
the furnace of Original Qi. Let us consider it the north pole of the human magnetic field since the 
energy originates there. Let us consider the Upper Dan Tian (the third eye) to be the south pole 
because it receives energy (Figure 4-10). Science tells us that the lines of force in a magnetic field 
start from the north pole and end up at the south pole. In Qigong practice, the Qi originates at the 
Lower Dan Tian and ends up at the Upper Dan Tian to nourish the brain. The north pole is higher in 
energy and is in a relatively excited state while the south pole is lower in energy and is in a calm and 
steady state. 

In his report on biomagnetics, Richard Leviton states: “One magnet practitioner, both a physician 
and a researcher, is Dr. Richard Broeringmeyer, a chiropractor, nutritionist, and publisher of the Bio- 
Energy Health Newsletter in Murray, Kentucky. ‘Life is not possible without electromagnetic 
fields,’ he said, ‘and optimum health is not possible if the electromagnetic fields are out of balance 
for long periods of time. Magnetic energy is nature’s energy in perfect balance.’ Each of a magnet’s 
two poles has a different energy and influence, says Broeringmeyer. The bipolar function is near the 
heart of biomagnetism.” 3 

In regard to the two poles, I believe that it is the magnetic north pole at the Lower Dan Tian which 
offers energy or Qi. It is able to increase the overall vital life force, strength, and development of a 
living system. In contrast, the south pole or the Upper Dan Tian accepts energy or Qi. It acts to slow 
down, to calm, and to control the development of a living system. 

You may understand now why I have located the poles of our magnetic field on either side of the 
Middle Dan Tian (solar plexus). The Middle Dan Tian can be considered the furnace where the 
Essences of food and air are converted into electricity and generate an EMF for circulation. 

The above assumptions are based on Chinese Qigong systems that were developed in the Northern 
Hemisphere of the Earth over the last several thousand years. I do not know if this theory is accurate, 
or how the poles affect living things in the Southern Hemisphere. The implication, however, is that 
people in the Southern Hemisphere have their magnetic poles reversed from how they are in the 
Northern Hemisphere. In other words, their Upper Dan Tian will offer energy while the Lower Dan 
Tian will receive it. Can this mean that, while the brains of people in the Northern Hemisphere are 
constantly being nourished, the brains of people in the Southern Hemisphere are being depleted? 
Does this explain why most technology was developed in the Northern Hemisphere? Do people in 
the Southern Hemisphere live longer because their Lower Dan Tian is their south pole and it absorbs 
and retains Qi better than the Dan Tian of a person in the Northern Hemisphere? I have heard of 
several doctors who recommend that patients who have lost their energy balance spend time on the 
equator, where the Earth’s magnetic field has a minimal affect, and their bodies will be able to 
rebalance themselves. These are exciting and challenging ideas. It is time for a wide-scale study of 
human energy or Qigong in every corner of this world. 


Channels 


If Qi channels are areas where the electrical conductivity of the body tissue is higher than 
elsewhere, then we have answered one of the great questions of Qigong. In addition to explaining 
how Qi circulates, this can also enable us to learn what the ancients were never able to discover: the 
shape of the channels, and their exact location. In the past we have only been able to do Qi research 
on living people, but now we should be able to use cadavers and measure electrical conductivity 
throughout the body, and thereby determine the precise location and shape of the channels. 



Vessels 


We may assume that what are called the Qi vessels are tissues that can store electrical charges like 
a capacitor. The body has eight of these capacitors (called the eight extraordinary vessels) that are 
responsible for regulating the current circulating in the twelve channels. If this assumption is true, 
we should be able to determine the exact location and characteristics of these vessels with today’s 
technology. 



Cavities 


Acupuncture cavities are small spots on the body where the electrical conductivity is higher than 
the surrounding areas . 2 Electricity is conducted between the main electrical channels (Qi channels) 
and the surface of the skin more easily at these locations than elsewhere. These cavities are the gates 
where needles, magnets, electricity, and other means such as lasers can be used to affect the flow of 
electricity in the Qi channels. The “Five Centers” or “Five Gates” (the Laogong cavity at the center 
of each palm, the Yongquan cavity on the bottom of each foot, and the Baihui cavity on the crown of 
the head) are probably larger openings where either the electric conductivity is higher or the 
conductive channels are larger. 


Electromotive Force (or Electromagnetic Force)(EMF) 


In order to have electric circulation, there must be an electromotive force (EMF). Without the 
EMF, the electric potential in the circuit will be the same throughout, and an electric current will not 
occur. The same principle applies to your body’s electrical circuit. Generally, I can think of four 
possible causes for the generation of EMF in the human circuit: 1 . Through the influence of natural 
energy. That means the EMF generated in the human body circuit can be affected by external energy 
interference, for example from the sun and the moon. Alternatively, you may expose your body to 
radioactive areas or even an electromagnetic field which can influence the electrical circulation in 
your body. 2. From the conversion of food and air essence. Whenever food and air are taken in, they 
are converted into bioelectric energy. This increase of the electricity will generate EMF for 
circulation. 3. From exercise. Whenever you move your muscles, part of the stored essence in your 
body is converted into electricity and generates an EMF in the exercised area. 4. From the mind and 
Shen (spirit). Your mind plays an important role in the generation of EMF. It might not be easy for 
the average person to understand this concept, however, if you understand that your thinking is able 
to affect the body’s Qi circulation, you may be able to understand that the mind can generate an 
EMF. For example, your mind leads electricity to the limbs to energize the muscle tissues. 

In Qigong training, you are training to increase your EMF through proper intake of food and air, 
Qigong exercises, and focused thought. 



Stagnation 


The flow of electricity can be reduced when the muscles are tightened or the structure of the 
channels (the conductive tissue) is changed. In Chinese medicine this is called Qi stagnation. 
Tightening the muscles increases resistance to the flow of electricity and thereby causes an increase 
in temperature. It is still hard to say just how the resistance is increased. It may be due to a 
biochemical reaction generated by the mind, or possibly a change in the conductive tissue. The 
electric circulation can also be significantly affected when the conductive tissue is contaminated with 
material of low conductivity such as fat. 

Obviously, relaxation is able to increase electrical circulation. In acupuncture, when a cavity is 
affected by a needle or magnet, the electrical field in that area is stimulated or sedated. It may 
possibly also convert the fat into heat and therefore open the path. 



The Sensation of Heat 


If Qi is electromagnetic energy circulating in the body, then the heat it produces is caused by the 
body’s resistance to the electrical flow. If you run an electric current through a wire, when the 
current encounters resistance, electric energy is converted into heat. Therefore, the heat felt during 
acupuncture treatments and Qigong practice is not Qi, but rather a symptom of the presence of Qi. If 
this is true, then when practicing Qigong it is desirable to circulate the Qi so smoothly that it does not 
generate any sensation of heat. This is like running your current through a copper wire with low 
resistance instead of an iron one with high resistance. Whenever you generate too much heat in your 
body, especially in the organs, the tissue will begin to degenerate faster. Remember that the original 
Chinese symbol for Qi was constructed of two words “no fire.” Therefore, as a Qigong practitioner, 
you should not try to feel your Qi as heat. It is better to feel it as an electrical sensation. If you keep 
this in mind, you will be able to avoid making your body too Yang during practice. 

When we practice Qigong or Taiji, it is common to experience warmth on the skin, especially in 
the center of the palms (Laogong cavities), the bottom of feet (Yongquan cavities), and on the face. 
We know that warmth is an indication of increased Qi circulation, but exactly how is this heat 
caused? 

Before we continue, I would like to quote a report by Albert L. Huebner: “In England, doctors 
have discovered that children can regrow lost fingertips, perfect in every detail, when a procedure is 
followed that bears an interesting resemblance to limb regeneration in amphibians. A salamander 
won’t regenerate its limb if the stump has become covered with skin, presumably because this blocks 
the ‘current of injury’ known to form there. Dr. Cynthia Illingworth of Sheffield found that if a 
child’s fingertip is to grow back, the stump must also be left uncovered.” 1 

This seems to indicate that the conductivity of muscle tissue is much higher than that of skin 
tissue. When skin has covered the injured area, it prevents the electric energy from extending beyond 
the stump and effecting the multiplication of cells and finally the regeneration of the finger. 

I now believe that skin tissue is less conductive than muscle tissue, and both are less conductive 
than bone. When we have an injury deep in the muscle, the pain is more significant than when the 
injury is superficial. Likewise, the pain from an injury deep enough to reach the bone is even worse. 
The bone marrow and the brain are probably the two places where electric conductivity is the highest 
in the human body. However, it must be stressed that this is, in large measure, speculation. 
Experimentation and empirical evidence will be the only way to actually prove the correctness of the 
theory. 

If you can accept these ideas, then it should be very easy for you to accept the explanation of how 
heat is generated in the skin during internal martial arts and Qigong. In these practices you often 
learn to relax and lead Qi to the ends of the limbs. The Qi or electricity will pass easily through the 
muscle and connective tissue, but when it reaches the skin the conductivity is suddenly lower. This 
means that resistance to the flow is increased. In combination with the fat (also of low electric 
conductivity) which normally accumulates between the skin and the muscle, the electricity is stopped 
and converted into heat (Figure 4-11). 


Figure 4-11. Cross section of a hand 



Muscfe 



You can see from this discussion why one of the purposes of Qigong is to reduce the heat and to 
open up the electrical blockages between the muscles and the skin and therefore increase the Qi flow 
to the surface of the skin. This insures that the skin, hair, and nails receive an abundance of 
electricity to maintain health and increase growth. 


Healing 


The ideas we have discussed can also explain how some people can heal another person by touch. 
The average person can move only a limited amount of Qi through his body, and can bring only a 
very small amount to the surface of the skin. However, some people, including Qigong practitioners, 
can move Qi easily to the surface of the skin and beyond, and can even affect another person’s Qi. If 
they can determine the status of the Qi throughout a person’s body, they can supply energy to the 
areas that are low, and withdraw excess energy from areas that are oversupplied. Once they do this, it 
is important to rid their own bodies of the excess Qi through various Qi regulating methods. 



Opening the Gates 


One of the major goals of Qigong is “opening the gates” (Tong Guan,’- )-This means to remove 
any cause of electric (Qi) stagnation. Stagnation is when the flow of current is hindered in the Qi 
channels, usually around cavities. This is caused by improper food, poor-quality air, and aging of the 
body tissues. Various Qigong styles, which are based upon different theories, have various methods 
of opening the gates (this is discussed in Chapter 6). However, regardless of the style, the key to 
opening the gates is increasing the flow of current. This clears away obstructions and widens 
constricted areas (“gates” or “cavities”), smoothing the circulation. In order to increase the current 
flow, the EMF must be increased. This can be done by Qigong exercises and meditation in which the 
concentrated mind plays the main role. 



The Measurement of Qi 


If the theories discussed above can be proven to be valid, then we have finally answered the 
question of just what Qi is. We have also solved another problem, namely what unit of measurement 
to use. If Qi is bioelectricity, then we can simply use the same units of measurements we use with 
electricity. This is a great step forward, because with a standard unit of measurement we can now 
scientifically compare and evaluate results of tests and experiments. 

Before we conclude this section, I would like to remind you of several things. Although we have 
used modern science’s concepts of the magnetic field to draw comparisons with the magnetic fields 
which surround all living things, you should understand that the field around your body is much 
more complicated than the field around a simple magnet. Perhaps the main cause of this is due to 
your mind, which can affect your magnetic field. Exactly how the mind generates EMF is another 
one of the many mysteries of the brain. We also do not know exactly how food and air Essences are 
converted into electric power. 

Please remember also that many of the ideas discussed above are not proven facts. Although 
experimental evidence and scientific proof are accumulating, there are still many areas that are not 
understood. I have offered explanations for many of the big questions of Qigong, but they are 
personal theories and conclusions only. You should not take them as fact, because they still need 
more experimental proof. I hope that this section will stimulate people to think, and encourage a 
synthesis of the theories of Qi and bioelectricity. 



4-4. Opening the Qi Gates 


The proceeding discussion should give you an idea of some of the problems that need to be 
overcome in order to practice Qigong. To maintain your health, you must keep your Qi flowing 
smoothly in the proper pathways. Reducing the amount of bad food you eat, which is the main 
source of contaminated Qi, will help to maintain a smooth Qi flow. Then you must learn how to open 
all of the gates (cavities) that are obstructed and are causing Qi stagnation. This is a major part of the 
Qigong that is practiced for health. 

In Qigong, opening the gates is called Tong GuanCiftJS ) (literally “to get through the gates”). The 
theory of opening these gates is very simple. First think of what you would do if the drainpipe in 
your sink were partially blocked. You probably would run a lot of water through it to increase the 
pressure on the obstruction and wash it away. You would know when the pipe was clear because the 
water would pass through it quickly and strongly. You can use the same method with your Qi 
channels by running more Qi through them. But in order to move more Qi, you must first generate it. 
In Wai Dan Qigong, when Qi is built up in the limbs it flows back into the body more strongly than 
before. As you continue to practice, the Qi will gradually widen the channels. Now, you might think 
that since increasing the Qi flow opens the gates, the more you increase the Qi, the more quickly you 
will open up the gates. However, you must remember one important thing. Your internal organs are 
designed to operate at certain levels of Qi, and if they receive too much Qi, they will become too 
Yang and will degenerate more quickly. 

It is very important in Qigong to do only enough to raise your Qi level just slightly above its 
normal level. As you continue to practice, the Qi channels will gradually widen so that the Qi level 
comes back down to normal, and the obstructed gates will slowly open. Then you can again increase 
the Qi level a little, the channels will become cleaner, and they will gradually become wider. Regular 
practice of the right exercises will smooth out the circulation, and keep the organs running properly. 
The proper amount of practice will maintain your health, too little practice will allow the channels to 
become plugged up, and too much practice will make your body too Yang, and will shorten your 
life. This is the key theory of Wai Dan. 

There is no difference in the theory of Nei Dan. However, in Nei Dan training you normally open 
the gates in the Conception and Governing Vessels first. These two vessels are considered the major 
Qi reservoirs which govern the Qi, and so your must open them first if you want to regulate the Qi. 
Once this is done, you have completed Small Circulation (Xiao Zhou Tian,T$ * ) There are three 
gates in this path which are considered the most difficult and dangerous when you practice. When 
you open these three gates, it is called Tong San Guan( M)i(“to get through the three gates”). 

After you have completed the Small Circulation, you then lead the Qi to the limbs to open up all 
of the gates located on the Qi channels. Once you have completed this, you have accomplished 
Grand Circulation (Da Zhou Tian,^^ A i.For further information, please refer the author’s books: 
Chi Kung - Health and Martial Arts and Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Chi 
Kung. 



References 


1 “Life’s Invisible Current,” by Albert L. Huebner, East West Journal, June 1986. 

2 The Body Electric, by Robert O. Becker, M.D. and Gary Selden, Quill, William Morrow, New 
York, 1985. 

3 “Healing with Nature’s Energy,” by Richard Leviton, East West Journal, June 1986. 

4 Faraday’s law of magnetic induction is: a changing magnetic field causes an induced electric field. 
Maxwell showed that the opposite is also true: a changing electric field causes an induced magnetic 
field. 

5 “What Flips Earth’s Field,” by Arthur Fisher, Popular Science, January 1988. 

6 College Physics, by Franklin Miller, Jr., Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1972. 


CHAPTER 5 


Categories of Qigong 

Qigong is the study of your body’s energy field, and it is directly related to your physical, emotional, 
mental, and even spiritual health. Both Eastern and Western religions influence the body’s Qi, either 
indirectly through emotional or mental means, or directly through conscious manipulation. In the 
East, religion has been responsible for some of the greatest developments in Qigong. The Oriental 
religions have been more aware than the Occidental religions of the role Qi plays in our spiritual and 
emotional lives. Qigong starts with physical science (strengthening the body), then moves on to 
energy science (Qi), then with mental science (neutralizing the mind), and finally reaches spiritual 
science (enlightenment). When you study Chinese Qigong, you should be aware of the substantial 
role that religion has played in its development. As you learn more about Qigong, you will become 
more aware of the ways in which the Western religions have also practiced this science. 

In this chapter we will first discuss the relationship between Qigong and the Chinese religions, and 
then we will discuss the different categories of Qigong. 



5-1. Qigong and Religion 


It is part of the human condition that we frequently experience conflict between our hearts and our 
minds. So often we want to do things that we know we shouldn’t. A part of us knows where our 
duties and moral obligations lie, but at the same time, our desires pull us in the opposite direction. 
All too often we find that wisdom and desire are in direct conflict. Desires we feel we cannot control 
drive us into acts of foolishness or even violence. When we do things we know we shouldn’t, we feel 
an inner pain caused by the spiritual/moral conflict. 

The Buddhists and Daoists say that there are seven human emotions: happiness (Xi,£.) anger 
(Nu,&) sorrow (Ai,&.)joy (Le,&i'love (Ai,£)<hate (Hen,'UQ<and lust (Yu,^)<and six desires which 
originate in the six roots: the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. These seven emotions and six 
desires are products of the emotional mind. Although some of the emotions, like love, can act to 
uplift us, most of the emotions and desires lead us to the evil and ugly side of life, the side of human 
disaster. If we learn to strengthen the wisdom mind we can gain calmness and peace, and this can 
help us to develop patience, perseverance, strong will, and a sense of justice and harmony. These 
virtues enable us to overcome the disasters created from the emotional mind. People need to be 
taught how to strengthen the good side and overcome the negative side of their nature. A proper 
education cultivates and matures the wisdom mind — the ability to judge which can control the 
seven emotions and six desires. 

Part of our nature is greedy and selfish, and causes us to struggle for money and power. When the 
moral part of our nature is suppressed, our minds seem to become evil — murder, theft, rape, 
anything becomes possible. Throughout history, many people have worshiped as heroes those who 
could kill, conquer, and enslave others. Today’s movies and TV programs are filled with stories of 
killing and violence. The younger generations are continually being educated into this mindset when 
they watch these programs, and even in history classrooms. In this way the seed of the ugly side of 
human nature is planted and continually nourished. This seed will grow, and the next generation will 
perpetuate the violence, hatred, and greed. 

These violent emotions can often suppress or distort the love and peace in people, but there is a 
cost. Since the longing for love and peace is an inborn part of human nature, the violent and hateful 
emotions constantly cause an inner conflict. It is this conflict that has generated the different 
religions of mankind. Religion brings a hope for peace, and encourages people to strengthen the 
good side of their natures. Many people gain peace and confidence, and overcome the sometimes 
crushing fear and uncertainty that surround us in this life. 

All of the different religions seem to have one point of similarity — the believers must learn to 
meditate in order to gain peace of mind. Meditation (and prayer, which is a form of meditation) is 
able to bring spiritual consolation and calmness, and build self-confidence. Meditation regulates the 
mind, and balances the Qi which had been disturbed by emotional distress. Many people have found 
that prayer brings them an inner peace which has helped them recover from illness. With the increase 
of self-confidence, the spirit is raised and firmed. This raised spirit has become a major force in the 
fight to lessen the suffering in this world. 

Buddhism and Daoism teach, like Christianity, that there is a heavenly kingdom and there is a hell. 
If you are good and have done good deeds while you were alive, you will be reborn as a human 
being, or you may even go to heaven as a Buddha or saint and leave the cycle of reincarnation 
behind. If you have been evil, you may end up in the hell of suffering and punishment, and/or be 
reborn as an animal. Almost everyone in ancient times was uneducated. They were worried and 
confused about their lives, and they were afraid of what might happen after death. Religions teach 



about heaven and hell to encourage people to be good instead of bad. Once people were trying to 
behave morally, religion taught them how to gain peace of mind through meditation. 

Not surprisingly, a great number of meditation techniques were developed by religious 
practitioners, and the Chinese Buddhists and Daoists deeply researched the related field of Qigong. 
In fact, it was the religious Qigong practitioners who made the greatest achievements in the 
development of Qigong. This is especially true in the highest level of Qigong, which is 
enlightenment. At this level the study of human energy is spiritual science, and it becomes 
independent of religion. 

From this discussion you can see that religion and Qigong are deeply intertwined. A thorough 
exploration of Chinese Qigong should also include the study of the historical background and theory 
of those religions which have influenced Chinese culture. It could also involve a comparison of 
Chinese Qigong with Western religious meditation techniques. I believe that this would help you to 
understand more clearly the relationship between human nature and Qigong. 



5-2. Categories of Qigong 


In the several thousand years since Qi and its relationship to health were discovered, every level of 
the Chinese population has practiced Qigong at some time. There are four major schools or 
categories which were created by the different classes of people. The scholars, medical doctors, 
martial artists, and religious monks all had their distinctive categories of Qigong. The martial 
Qigong was again divided into external and internal styles, and the religious Qigong was divided into 
Buddhist, Daoist, and Tibetan styles. 

In order to obtain a healthy body, you must cultivate both Xing (Human Nature,* )and Ming 
(Physical Life^J-A major part of Chinese philosophy has focused on the study of human nature, 
feelings, and spirit, as can be seen especially in Chinese scholarly and Buddhist (also Tibetan) 
religious society. Of all the different categories of Qigong, the scholarly and religious Qigong 
categories originated from and focused on the cultivation of human nature and spirit. 

Human nature and spirit, as a matter of fact, were the most basic root of scholarly and religious 
philosophy in China. Physical life was considered to be not as important as the spiritual life. For this 
reason, most of the still meditation, which specializes in the cultivation of the spirit, was developed 
and studied by the scholars and Buddhist monks. 

However, these two groups were striving for different goals. The scholars believed that the major 
illnesses were caused by emotional and spiritual imbalance. They used meditation to regulate the 
mind and spirit, and thereby gain good health. The Buddhist monks were aiming for spiritual 
independence and ultimately the stage of enlightenment or Buddhahood. Of these two groups, the 
Buddhist (including Tibetan) monks were able to reach the highest levels of meditation, which 
almost no other style in China was able to do. However, even though these two schools of Qigong 
emphasized spiritual meditation, they also used a limited number of Qigong exercises which trained 
the physical body, such as Da Mo’s Muscle/Tendon Changing exercises. 

The Chinese medical doctors, on the other hand, thought that although spiritual meditation was 
important, physical cultivation was even more critical for health and healing. Furthermore, it was 
difficult to teach laymen still meditation, which was very hard to understand and practice. Therefore, 
the Qigong exercises created by the medical doctors focused on physical health and healing, and 
used mostly physical Qigong exercises. The physicians also relied heavily on acupuncture and herbs 
to adjust irregular Qi caused by sickness. 

However, according to the available documents, many Qigong practitioners of different categories 
feel that the Daoist Qigong was probably the most complete both in theory and training because it 
emphasized the spiritual and physical equally. The Daoists also researched how different herbs affect 
the Qi circulation, and used these herbs to speed and smooth their progress. They even studied how 
one Qigong practitioner could share his Qi with his partners, or through mutual assistance help each 
other to speed up cultivation. The effect of diet on the Qi circulation was also deeply studied. Their 
research was extensive and practical. Their training methods therefore spread widely in Chinese 
Qigong society. 

According to the available documents, we can roughly classify Qigong into five major categories, 
according to their purpose or final goal: 1. maintaining health; 2. curing sickness; 3. prolonging life; 
4. martial skill; and 5. enlightenment or Buddhahood. Even though we show a different training 
purpose or aim for each category, you should understand that it is not possible to define all of the 
categories strictly according to their training purpose. This is simply because almost every style of 
Qigong serves more than one of the above purposes. For example, although martial Qigong focuses 
on increasing fighting effectiveness, it can also improve your health. The Daoist Qigong aims for 



longevity and enlightenment, but to reach this goal you need to be in good health and know how to 
cure sickness. Because of this multipurpose aspect of the categories, it will be simpler to discuss their 
backgrounds rather than the goals of their training. Knowing the history and basic principles of each 
category will help you to understand their Qigong more clearly. In this section we will discuss each 
category in more detail. 



Scholar Qigong - for Maintaining Health 


In China before the Han dynasty (206 B.C.,®^0 there were two major schools of scholarship. 
One of them was created by Confucius (551-479 B.C.,^^*)during the Spring and Autumn 
Period' : ^^Oand the scholars who practice his philosophy are commonly called Confucians. Later 
his philosophy was popularized and enlarged by Mencius (372-289 B.C.,^'6 )in the Warring States 
Period' : & ■ - )-The people who practiced this were called Ru Jia (Confucianists,^ & ) The key words 
to their basic philosophy are Loyalty (Zhong,&) -Filial Piety (Xiao, * ) Humanity (Ren, ^ ) Kindness 
(Ai,£)iTrust (Xin^) Justice (Yi,^) Harmony (He,^)*and Peace (Ping, T ■ Humanity and the human 
feelings are the main subjects of study. Ru Jia philosophy has become the center of much of Chinese 
culture. 

The second major school of scholarship was called Dao Jia (Daoism, & )and was created by Lao 
Zi( ^ J")in the 6th century B.C. Lao Zi is considered to be the author of a book called the Dao De 
Jing (Classic on the Virtue of the Dao, i £'&* si )which described human morality. Later, in the Warring 
States Period, his follower Zhuang ZhouO"£ ft)wrote a book called Zhuang Zi, which led to the 
forming of another strong branch of scholarship. Before the Han dynasty, Daoism was not 
considered a religion, but rather another branch of scholarship. It was not until the Han dynasty that 
traditional Daoism was combined with the Buddhism imported from India, and it began gradually to 
be treated as a religion. Therefore, the Daoism before the Han dynasty should be considered 
scholarly Daoism rather than religious. 

In regards to their contribution to Qigong, both schools of scholarship emphasized maintaining 
health and preventing disease. They believed that many illnesses are caused by mental and emotional 
excesses. When a person’s mind is not calm, balanced, and peaceful, the organs will not function 
normally. For example, depression can cause stomach ulcers and indigestion. Anger will cause the 
liver to malfunction. Sadness will cause stagnation and tightness in the lungs, and fear can disturb 
the normal functioning of the kidneys and bladder. They realized that if you want to avoid illness, 
you must learn to balance and relax your thoughts and emotions. This is called “regulating the 
mind.” 

Therefore, the scholars emphasized gaining a peaceful mind through meditation. In their still 
meditation, the main part of the training is getting rid of thoughts so that the mind is clear and calm. 
When you become calm, the flow of thoughts and emotions slows down, and you feel mentally and 
emotionally neutral. This kind of meditation can be thought of as practicing emotional self-control. 
When you are in this “no thought” state, you become very relaxed, and can even relax deep down 
into your internal organs. When your body is this relaxed, your Qi will naturally flow smoothly and 
strongly. This kind of still meditation was very common in ancient Chinese scholarly society. 

In order to reach the goal of a calm and peaceful mind, their training focused on regulating the 
mind, body, and breath. They believed that as long as these three things were regulated, the Qi flow 
would be smooth and sickness would not occur. This is why the Qi training of the scholars is called 
“Xiu Qi”(#& bwhich means “cultivating Qi.” Xiu in Chinese means to regulate, to cultivate, or to 
repair. It means to maintain in good condition. This is very different from the Daoist Qi training after 
the Han dynasty which was called “Lian Qi”(#-& .Lwhich is translated “train Qi.” Lian means to drill 
or to practice to make stronger. Daoist Qigong after the Han dynasty will be discussed later. 

Many of the Qigong documents written by the Confucians and Daoists were limited to the 
maintenance of health. The scholar’s attitude in Qigong was to follow his natural destiny and 
maintain his health. This philosophy is quite different from that of the Daoists after the Han dynasty, 
who denied that one’s destiny could not be changed. They believed that it is possible to train your Qi 



to make it stronger, and to reach the goal of longevity. It is said in scholarly society: “Ren Sheng Qi 
Shi Gu Lai Xi,” 1 which means “in human life seventy is rare.” You should understand that few of the 
common people in ancient times lived past seventy because of the lack of good food and modern 
medical technology. It is also said: “An Tian Le Ming”(£ £ & ^ .Which means “peace with heaven 
and delight in your destiny”; and “Xiu Shen Si Ming’’^'? # -which means “cultivate the body 
and await destiny.” Compare this with the philosophy of the later Daoists, who said: “Yi Bai Er Shi 
Wei Zhi Yao,” 2 which means “one hundred and twenty means dying young.” They believed and have 
proven that human life can be lengthened and destiny can be resisted and overcome. 

Confucianism and Daoism were the two major schools of scholarship in China, but there were 
many other schools which were also more or less involved in Qigong exercises. We will not discuss 
them here because there is only a limited number of Qigong documents from these schools. 

To conclude, the basic characteristics of scholarly Qigong training include: 

1. Spiritual and mental Qigong was emphasized more than physical Qigong. 

2. The published documents which are related to Qigong discuss it in a random, 
unorganized, and unsystematic fashion. 

3. Maintaining health was the goal of Qi cultivation. Overcoming death and destiny 
was considered impossible. 

4. Before the Han dynasty, Daoism was considered a branch of scholarship, whereas 
after the Han dynasty it became involved in religion and became the Daoist 
religion. Therefore, the Qigong developed by the Daoists before the Han dynasty 
was considered scholarly Daoist Qigong. 


Medical Qigong - for Healing 


In ancient Chinese society, most emperors respected the scholars and were affected by their 
philosophy. Doctors were not regarded highly because they made their diagnosis by touching the 
patient’s body, which was considered characteristic of the lower classes in society. Although the 
doctors developed a profound and successful medical science, they were commonly looked down on. 
However, they continued to work hard and study, and quietly passed down the results of their 
research to following generations. 

Of all the groups studying Qigong in China, the doctors have been at it the longest. Since the 
discovery of Qi circulation in the human body about four thousand years ago, the Chinese doctors 
have devoted a major portion of their efforts to the study of the behavior of Qi. Their efforts resulted 
in acupuncture, acupressure or cavity press massage, and herbal treatment. 

In addition, many Chinese doctors used their medical knowledge to create different sets of Qigong 
exercises either for maintaining health or for curing specific illnesses. Chinese medical doctors 
believed that doing only sitting or still meditation to regulate the body, mind, and breathing as the 
scholars did was not enough to cure sickness. They believed that in order to increase the Qi 
circulation, you must move. Although a calm and peaceful mind was important for health, exercising 
the body was more important. They learned through their medical practice that people who exercised 
properly got sick less often, and their bodies degenerated less quickly than was the case with people 
who just sat around. They also realized that specific body movements could increase the Qi 
circulation in specific organs. They reasoned from this that these exercises could also be used to treat 
specific illnesses and to restore the normal functioning of these organs. 

Some of these movements are similar to the way in which certain animals move. It is clear that in 
order for an animal to survive in the wild, it must have an instinct for how to protect its body. Part of 
this instinct is concerned with how to build up its Qi, and how to keep its Qi from being lost. We 
humans have lost many of these instincts over the years that we have been separating ourselves from 
nature. 

Many doctors developed Qigong exercises which were modeled after animal movements to 
maintain health and cure sickness. A typical, well-known set of such exercises is “Wu Qin Xi” (Five 
Animal Sports , & treated by Dr. Jun Qian(. ® tt)(some say that the Wu Qin Xi was created by 

Hua Tuo,^ f£.)-Another famous set based on similar principles is called “Ba Duan Jin” (The Eight 
Pieces of Brocade/^#: $0-1 1 was created by Marshal Yue Fei( * & )who, interestingly enough, was a 
soldier rather than a doctor. 

In addition, using their medical knowledge of Qi circulation, Chinese doctors researched until they 
found which movements could help cure particular illnesses and health problems. Not surprisingly, 
many of these movements were not unlike the ones used to maintain health, since many illnesses are 
caused by unbalanced Qi. When this imbalance continues for a long period of time, the organs will 
be affected, and may be physically damaged. It is just like running a machine without supplying the 
proper electrical current — over time, the machine will be damaged. Chinese doctors believe that 
before physical damage to an organ shows up in a patient’s body, there is first an abnormality in the 
Qi balance and circulation. Abnormal Qi circulation is the very beginning of illness and physical 
organ damage. When Qi is too positive (Yang) or too negative (Yin) in a specific organ Qi channel, 
your physical organ is beginning to suffer damage. If you do not correct the Qi circulation, that 
organ will malfunction or degenerate. The best way to heal someone is to adjust and balance the Qi 
even before there is any physical problem. Therefore, correcting or increasing the normal Qi 
circulation is the major goal of acupuncture or acupressure treatments. Herbs and special diets are 



also considered important treatments in regulating the Qi in the body. 

As long as the illness is limited to the level of Qi stagnation and there is no physical organ 
damage, the Qigong exercises used for maintaining health can be used to readjust the Qi circulation 
and treat the problem. However, if the sickness is already so serious that the physical organs have 
started to fail, then the situation has become critical and a specific treatment is necessary. The 
treatment can be acupuncture, herbs, or even an operation, as well as specific Qigong exercises 
designed to speed up the healing or even to cure the sickness. For example, ulcers and asthma can 
often be cured or helped by some simple exercises. Recently in both mainland China and Taiwan, 
certain Qigong exercises have been shown to be effective in treating certain kinds of cancer.^ 

Over the thousands of years of observing nature and themselves, some Qigong practitioners went 
even deeper. They realized that the body’s Qi circulation changes with the seasons, and that it is a 
good idea to help the body out during these periodic adjustments. They noticed also that in each 
season different organs had characteristic problems. For example, in the beginning of autumn the 
lungs have to adapt to the colder air that you are breathing. While this adjusting is going on, the 
lungs are susceptible to disturbance, so your lungs may feel uncomfortable and you may catch colds 
easily. Your digestive system is also affected during seasonal changes. Your appetite may increase, 
or you may have diarrhea. When the temperature goes down, your kidneys and bladder will start to 
give you trouble. For example, because the kidneys are stressed, you may feel pain in the back. 
Focusing on these seasonal Qi disorders, the meditators created a set of movements which can be 
used to speed up the body’s adjustment. These Qigong exercises will be introduced in a later volume. 

In addition to Marshal Yue Fei, many people who were not doctors also created sets of medical 
Qigong. These sets were probably originally created to maintain health, and later were also used for 
curing sickness. 

The characteristics of medical Qigong are: 

1. Medical Qigong emphasizes moving meditative exercises more than sitting still 
meditation. 

2. The major goals of medical Qigong are maintaining health and curing sickness. 

3. Qigong exercises were only a small part of Chinese medical science. Herbal 
treatment, acupuncture, and acupressure remained the major methods of healing. 


Martial Qigong - for Fighting 


Chinese martial Qigong was probably not developed until Da Mo’s Muscle/Tendon Changing 
Classic was developed in the Shaolin Temple during the Liang dynasty (502-557 A.D..& )-When 
Shaolin monks trained Da Mo’s Muscle/Tendon Changing Qigong, they found that they could not 
only improve their health but also greatly increase the power of their martial techniques. Since then, 
many martial styles have developed Qigong sets to increase their effectiveness. In addition, many 
martial styles have been created based on Qigong theory. Martial artists have played a major role in 
Chinese Qigong society. 

When Qigong theory was first applied to the martial arts, it was used to increase the power and 
efficiency of the muscles. The theory is very simple — the mind (Yi) is used to lead Qi to the 
muscles to energize them so that they function more efficiently. The average person generally uses 
his muscles at under 40% maximum efficiency. If one can train his concentration and use his strong 
Yi to lead Qi to the muscles effectively, he will be able to energize the muscles to a higher level and, 
therefore, increase his fighting effectiveness. 

As acupuncture theory became better understood, fighting techniques were able to reach even 
more advanced levels. Martial artists learned to attack specific areas, such as vital acupuncture 
cavities, to disturb the enemy’s Qi flow and create imbalances which caused injury or even death. In 
order to do this, the practitioner must understand the route and timing of the Qi circulation in the 
human body. He also has to train so that he can strike the cavities accurately and to the correct depth. 
These cavity strike techniques are called “Dian Xue” (Pointing Cavities, 554 A )o r “Dian Mai” or “Dim 
Mak” (Pointing Vessels,?^ )■ 

Most of the martial Qigong practices help to improve the practitioner’s health. However, there are 
other martial Qigong practices which, although they build up some special skill which is useful for 
fighting, also damage the practitioner’s health. An example of this is Iron Sand Palm (Tie Sha 
Zhang, & % 7' ) -Although this training can build up amazing destructive power, it can also harm your 
hands and affect the Qi circulation in the hands and the internal organs. 

Since the 6th century, many martial styles have been created which were based on Qigong theory. 
They can be roughly divided into external and internal styles. 

The external styles emphasize building Qi in the limbs to coordinate with the physical martial 
techniques. They follow the theory of Wai Dan (external elixir /tir JQigong. In Wai Dan Qigong, Qi 
is usually generated in the limbs through special exercises. The concentrated mind is used during the 
exercises to energize the Qi. This increases muscular strength significantly, and therefore increases 
the effectiveness of the martial techniques. Qigong can also be used to train the body to resist 
punches and kicks. In this training, Qi is led to energize the skin and the muscles, enabling them to 
resist a blow without injury. This training is commonly called “Iron Sh ir t” (Tie Bu Shansi ^ & )or 
“Golden Bell Cover” (Jin Zhong Zhao, -The martial styles which use Wai Dan Qigong 
training are normally called external styles (Wai Gong, ? h^ )or hard styles (Ying Gong,#^ ) -Shaolin 
Gongfu is a typical example of a style which uses Wai Dan martial Qigong. 

Although Wai Dan Qigong can help the martial artist increase his power, there is a disadvantage. 
Because Wai Dan Qigong emphasizes training the external muscles, it can cause overdevelopment. 
This can cause a problem called “energy dispersion” (San Gong,^^)when the practitioner gets 
older. In order to remedy this, when an external martial artist reaches a high level of external Qigong 
training he will start training internal Qigong, which specializes in curing the energy dispersion 
problem. That is why it is said “Shaolin Gongfu from external to internal.” 

Internal Martial Qigong is based on the theory of Nei Dan (internal elixir, ft ft )-In this method, Qi 



is generated in the body instead of the limbs, and this Qi is then led to the limbs to increase power. In 
order to lead Qi to the limbs, the techniques must be soft and muscle usage must be kept to a 
minimum. The training and theory of Nei Dan martial Qigong is much harder than those of the Wai 
Dan martial Qigong. The interested reader should refer to the author’s book: Tai Chi Chuan and 
Martial Power - Advanced Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan. Several internal martial styles were created in 
the Wudangt & )and EmeiC ^ .Mountains. Popular styles are 

Taijiquanf-^##.) BaguazhangC ,)<Liu He Ba FaC^^^^O-and XingyiquanC ) -However, 
you should understand that even the internal martial styles, which are commonly called soft styles, 
must on some occasions use muscular strength while fighting. Therefore, once an internal martial 
artist has achieved a degree of competence in internal Qigong, he should also learn how to use 
harder, more external techniques. That is why it is said: “The internal styles are from soft to hard.” 

In the last fifty years, some of the Taiji Qigong or Taijiquan practitioners have developed training 
which is mainly for health, and is called “Wuji Qigong’l. A 14 )which means “no extremities 
Qigong.” Wuji is the state of neutrality which precedes Taiji, which is the state of complimentary 
opposites. When there are thoughts and feelings in your mind, there is Yin and Yang, but if you can 
still your mind you can return to the emptiness of Wuji. When you achieve this state your mind is 
centered and clear and your body relaxed, and your Qi is able to flow naturally and smoothly and 
reach the proper balance by itself. Wuji Qigong has become very popular in many parts of China, 
especially Shanghai and Canton. 

You can see that, although Qigong is widely studied in Chinese martial society, the main focus of 
training was originally on increasing fighting ability instead of health. Good health was considered a 
by-product of the training. It was not until this century that the health aspect of martial Qigong 
started receiving greater attention. This is especially true in the internal martial arts. Please refer to 
the in-depth Martial Qigong book: The Essence of Shaolin White Crane, available from YMAA 
Publication Center. 



Religious Qigong - for Enlightenment or Buddhahood 


Religious Qigong, though not as popular as other categories in China, is recognized as having 
achieved the highest accomplishments of all the Qigong categories. It used to be kept secret, and it is 
only in this century that it has been revealed to laymen. 

In China, religious Qigong includes mainly Daoist and Buddhist Qigong. The main purpose of 
their training is striving for enlightenment, or what the Buddhists refer to as Buddhahood. They are 
looking for a way to lift themselves above normal human suffering, and to escape from the cycle of 
continual reincarnation. They believe that all human suffering is caused by the seven emotions and 
six desires. If you are still bound to these emotions and desires, you will reincarnate after your death. 
To avoid reincarnation, you must train your spirit to reach a very high stage where it is strong 
enough to be independent after your death. This spirit will enter the heavenly kingdom and gain 
eternal peace. This is hard to do in the everyday world, so they frequently flee society and move into 
the solitude of the mountains, where they can concentrate all of their energies on self-cultivation. 

Religious Qigong practitioners train to strengthen their internal Qi to nourish their spirit (Shen) 
until this spirit is able to survive the death of the physical body. Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong 
training is necessary to reach this stage. It enables them to lead Qi to the forehead, where the spirit 
resides, and raise the brain to a higher energy state. This training used to be restricted to only a few 
priests who had reached an advanced level. Tibetan Buddhists were also involved heavily in this 
training. Over the last two thousand years the Tibetan Buddhists, the Chinese Buddhists, and the 
Daoists have followed the same principles to become the three major religious schools of Qigong 
training. 

This religious striving toward enlightenment or Buddhahood is recognized as the highest and most 
difficult level of Qigong. Many Qigong practitioners rejected the rigors of this religious striving, and 
practiced Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong solely for the purpose of longevity. It was these people 
who eventually revealed the secrets of Marrow/Brain Washing to the outside world. If you are 
interested in Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong, please refer to the book: Muscle/Tendon Changing and 
Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Rung, available from YMAA Publication Center. 

Buddhist Qigong - for Buddhahood. Buddhism was created by an Indian prince named Sakyamuni 
(558-478 B.C.). When he was 29 years old, he became dissatisfied with his comfortable and 
sheltered life and left his country. He went out into the world among the common people to 
experience the pain and suffering in their lives. Six years later, he suddenly apprehended the 
“Truth,” and started to travel around and spread his philosophy. 

Buddhism was imported into Ch i na during the Eastern Han dynasty (58 A.D.,& & ! -The Han 
emperors became sincere Buddhists, and Buddhism became the main religion in China. Naturally, 
the Buddhist meditation methods were also learned by the Chinese Buddhist monks. 

Buddhist Qigong training is very similar to Chinese scholarly Qigong. The main difference is that 
while scholarly Qigong aims at maintaining health, Buddhist Qigong aims at becoming a Buddha. 
Meditation is a necessary process in training the priest to stay emotionally neutral. Buddhism 
believes that all human suffering is caused by the seven passions and six desires (Qi Qing Liu 
Yu,^^ « B ). The seven passions are happiness (Xi, -3- "banger (Nu,&) -sorrow (Ai,&)joy (Le,& Move 
(Ai,'ii "hhate (Hen,#') and lust (Yu,- j-The desires are generated from the six roots which are the eyes, 
ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind (Xin,**) -Buddhists also cultivate within themselves a neutral state 
separated from the four emptinesses of earth, water, fire, and wind (Si Da Jie Kong,® * $ ^ )-They 
believe that this training enables them to keep their spirits independent so they can escape from the 
cycle of repeated reincarnation. 



The early priests were not so concerned with their physical health, and meditated in order to train 
themselves to stay emotionally neutral. Naturally, most of the priests did not have long physical 
lives. 

This situation lasted until the Liang dynasty (502-557 A.D.,&)-when physical Qigong exercises 
began to be emphasized in a limited number of Buddhist temples. There is a famous story about Da 
-' Da Mo was an Indian Buddhist prince who was invited to China to preach by emperor 
Liang. When the emperor did not favor his philosophy. Da Mo went to the Shaolin 
Templet ) He discovered that all of the priests were weak and sickly, so he decided to help 
them. He shut himself away to ponder the problem, and stayed in seclusion for nine years. When he 
emerged he had written two books, the Yi Jin Jing (Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic,# ® -- X and 
the Xi Sui Jing (Marrow/Brain Washing Classic, & ) -The techniques taught in the Muscle/Tendon 
Changing Classic were practiced by many Buddhist priests. They believed that they needed strong 
and healthy bodies to complete their training. 

The Shaolin priests learned that when they practiced these exercises, not only did their health 
increase, but their physical power also increased significantly. They naturally used this power in 
coordination with their fighting techniques when they had to defend themselves. This change marked 
one more step in the growth of Chinese martial arts: Martial Qigong. This was discussed earlier. 
Many sets of physical Qigong exercise have been developed over the years based on the principles 
expounded in Da Mo’s book on Muscle/Tendon Changing. 

Although it was often necessary to defend oneself during that violent period, there were many 
priests who were against the martial training. They believed that as Buddhist priests they should 
avoid all violence. For this reason, most of the temples practiced only the still meditation for 
cultivating their Buddhahood. 

Da Mo’s Marrow/Brain Washing Classic describes how a priest can strengthen his health and 
increase his longevity. Once he has finished this training he can go on to more advanced training 
which has the goal of attaining Buddhahood. Before a priest started his Marrow/Brain Washing 
training he had to first complete the Muscle/Tendon Changing, which was considered the 
foundation. Unfortunately, the theory of Marrow/Brain Washing is very difficult to understand, and 
the whole process was kept secret by the monks, so for many centuries it was thought to be lost. It 
was only in the last twenty years that some of the documents have been revealed to the public. 

Da Mo is considered the ancestor of the Chinese Chan Zong(X a £)or the Zen( )sect of 
Buddhism. The traditional teaching philosophy which has been attributed to him is: “Jiao Wai Bie 
Chuan, Bu Li Wen Zi, Zhi Zhi Ren Xin, Jian Xing Cheng Fo” 4 (Do not pass on to people outside of 
our religion, words should not be written down, point directly to the person’s mind, to see and 
cultivate the personality, humanity, and becoming a Buddha). 

When Da Mo died, it was said that he passed his Chan Buddhist philosophy and his Marrow/Brain 
Washing Classic techniques to his best and trusted disciple, Hui KeC^^j'Hui Ke’s name as a 
layman was Ji Guang(-^ ^t)-He was a scholar who gave up his normal life and became a priest in 
order to conquer himself. Hui Ke passed the Buddhist philosophy on to Seng Can( & & ' -It then went 
to Dao Xin( -- 1* ) Hong Rent & &)<and Hui Neng(& •& ) -Including Da Mo, these six are called the Six 
Ancestors of Chan (Chan Zong Liu Zu,^ -Later, Chinese Buddhist society honored another 

monk, Shen Hui( ^ ^ )of the Tang dynasty of Kai Yuan (713-742 A.D.,® K $ A Xand subsequently 
referred to the Seven Ancestors of Chan (Chan Zong Qi Zu,$ )■ 

Since Da Mo came from India, part of the Qigong training theory developed by him was identical 
to Indian Yoga (such as the still meditation), which had existed for some time in India. Later, Chan 
theory and training was brought to Japan by Chinese Buddhist monks, and became the Zen 
meditation of Japan. 

You can see that before the Liang dynasty, the Buddhists used only still meditation. Since the 


Liang dynasty, many priests learned Da Mo’s exercises, and then adopted the movements of various 
animals to use in Qigong sets, or even for martial purposes. 

To summarize: 

1. Before Da Mo (527 A.D.), still meditation was the major part of Chinese Buddhist 
training. After Da Mo, moving Qigong exercises — The Muscle/Tendon Changing 
Classic — was introduced. 

2. Muscle/Tendon Changing was the foundation of Marrow/Brain Washing. 
Muscle/Tendon Changing can change a person’s physical body from weak to 
strong, and Marrow/Brain Washing is able to train a monk to use his Qi to keep his 
marrow clean and to nourish his brain for spiritual enlightenment, the way of 
reaching the goal of Buddhahood. 

3. Because the Muscle/Tendon Changing training is able to increase the strength of 
the body, it has been used by Buddhists and non-Buddhists in their martial training. 

Since then, many martial Qigong styles have been created. 

4. The Marrow/Brain Washing Classic is hard to understand and train, and has been 
kept secret for a long time. 

5. Da Mo was the ancestor of Chan or Zen meditation. 

Tibetan Qigong - for Buddhahood. Tibet was significantly influenced by both Indian and Chinese 
cultures. Buddhism had a great effect, so the root of Tibetan Qigong is similar to that of Indian 
Buddhism. However, over thousands of years of study and research, the Tibetans established their 
own unique style of Qigong meditation. The Tibetan priests are called Lamas (La Ma,^^ ,)<and 
many of them also learned martial arts. Because of the different cultural background, not only are the 
Lamas’ meditation techniques different from those of the Chinese or Indian Buddhists, but their 
martial techniques are also different. Tibetan Qigong meditation and martial arts were kept secret 
from the outside world, and were therefore called “Mi Zong”( * $ ) -which means “secret style.” 
Because of this, and because of the different language, there are very few documents available in 
Chinese. Generally speaking, Tibetan Qigong and martial arts were not spread into Chinese society 
almost until the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.). Since then, however, they have become more 
popular. 

However, even though Tibetan Qigong training techniques are sometimes different from those of 
the Chinese and Indian Buddhists, they still have the same goal of all Buddhists — Buddhahood. 
According to the available documents, Tibetan Qigong training emphasizes spiritual cultivation 
through still meditation like the Buddhist meditation, although they use many physical Qigong 
exercises which are similar to Indian Yoga. 

To summarize: 

1. Tibetan Qigong is part of Buddhist Qigong, although it has developed its own 
unique system of cultivation. 

2. Tibetan still meditation theory and training is similar to that of the Buddhists. 
However, they also have some physical Qigong training similar to Indian Yoga. 

3. Documents on Tibetan Qigong are scarce. Hopefully someone who is specializing 
in researching Tibetan culture can fill this void. 

Daoist Qigong — for Enlightenment. Daoism was created by Lao Zi' : 7- )(Li Er,^^)in the 6th 

century B.C. He wrote a book titled Dao De Jing (Classic on the Virtue of the Dao,*t^^)which 
discusses natural human morality. Later, his follower Zhuang Zhou( & 4] )in the Warring States 
Period* A $ ,)wrote a book called Zhuang Zi( £ -f\)-Soon, another branch of scholarship developed, 



which was separate from Confucianism. Before the Han dynasty, Daoism was purely a form of 
scholarship. It studied the human spirit and nature but, according to the available documents, it was 
not considered a religion. 

In the Eastern Han dynasty (25-168 A.D.,^ ) -Zhang, Dao-Ling( & ^created the Daoist 

religion (Dao Jiao, : - ■ Daoism worshiped primarily the “Yuan Shi Tian Zun”(^^ )(The Primal 
Celestial Excellency - a Daoist Deity After the Song dynasty it was called Yu Huang Da Di - The 
Supreme Deity )C & ^")and Lao Zi (popularly titled Tai Shang Lao Jun, or Old Lord of the 
Ultimate)^ ).i n Dao Jiao philosophy, they believed there was a heavenly kingdom ruled by 
“The Primal Celestial Excellency.” Only the immortals and the gods lived in this kingdom, which 
controlled everything on the earth. You can see that the original concept of Heaven Qi has been 
modified, and a religious color added. These religious Daoists also believed that when a person died, 
if he had done something very good, he would become a saint. Heaven would offer him a position 
which allowed him to rule the living. If a person did not do anything especially good while alive, 
when he died he would reincarnate as a human being. However, if a person had been bad, his soul 
would be sent to one of the 18 levels of hell for punishment. There, the King of Hell (Yan Luo 
Wang,H &-*-)would decide what kind of animal he should reincarnate as. If someone had been very 
bad, he would not reincarnate, but would stay in hell for an eternity of torture. 

The religious philosophy and views on reincarnation of the Daoists were very similar to those of 
the Buddhists. This may be related to the fact that the Daoist religion was created only about one 
hundred years after Buddhism was imported into China. It is said that religious Daoism is a blend of 
Buddhism and traditional Daoism. 

Like the Buddhists, the Daoists believe that if they can build up their spirit (Shen) so that it is 
independent and strong, they will be able to escape from the cycle of repeated reincarnation. When a 
Daoist or Buddhist has reached this stage, he has reached the goal of enlightenment or Buddhahood. 
It is said that he has attained eternal life. However, if he cannot build his spirit strong enough before 
he dies, his soul or spirit will not go to hell, and he will be able to control his own destiny and either 
stay a spirit or be reborn as a human. They believed that it is only possible to develop the human 
spirit while in a body, so that the continual cycle of rebirth is necessary to attain enlightenment. 

The monks found that in order to enhance their spirit, they had to cultivate the Qi which was 
converted from their Jing (essence). The normal Daoist Qigong training process is 1. to convert the 
Jing (essence) into Qi (Lian Jing Hua Qi.^Mitt &)!2. to nourish the Shen (spirit) with Qi (Lian Qi 
Hua Shen,t-&^^0; 3. to refine the Shen into emptiness (Lian Shen Fan )land 4. to crush 

the emptiness (Fen Sui Xu Kong,*^^^0-The first step is to firm and strengthen the Jing, then 
convert this Jing into Qi through meditation or other methods. This Qi is then led to the top of the 
head to nourish the brain and raise up the Shen. When a Daoist has reached this stage, it is called “the 
three flowers meet on the top” (San Hua Ju Ding,-=-<& & ^U-This stage is necessary to gain health and 
longevity. Finally, the Daoist can start training to reach the goal of enlightenment. However, the 
biggest obstacle to achieving this goal is the emotions, which affect the thinking and upset the 
balance of the spirit. This is the reason they hid themselves away in the mountains, away from other 
people and their distractions. They also abstained from eating meat, feeling that it muddied thinking 
and increased the emotions, leading the spirit away from self-cultivation. 

While striving for enlightenment or Buddhahood, most Buddhist monks concentrate all their 
attention on the cultivation of the spirit. The Daoists, however, feel that in order to reach the final 
goal, you have to first be in good physical health. This may be the reason why more Daoists than 
Buddhists have lived very long lives. In their nineteen hundred years of research, they found many 
more ways to strengthen the body and to slow down the degeneration of the organs, which is the key 
to obtaining a long life. There have been many Daoists who have lived more than 150 years. In 
Daoist society it is said: “one hundred and twenty means dying young.” Unfortunately, all of this 



Qigong training has been passed down secretly in the monasteries. It was not until the last twenty 
years that these secret theories and training methods were revealed to the outside world. 

An important part of this training to prolong life is Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong. The basic idea 
of Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong is to keep the Qi circulating in your marrow so that the marrow 
stays clean and healthy. Your bone marrow manufactures your blood cells. The blood cells bring 
nourishment to the organs and all the other cells of the body, and also take waste products away. 
When your blood is healthy and functions properly, your whole body is well-nourished and healthy, 
and can resist disease effectively. When the marrow is clean and fresh, it manufactures an enormous 
number of healthy blood cells which will do their job properly. Your whole body will stay healthy, 
and the degeneration of your internal organs will be significantly slowed. Your body is not unlike an 
expensive car. It will run a long time if you use a high quality fuel; but if you use a low quality fuel, 
the car engine will deteriorate a lot faster than it needs to. 

Although the theory is simple, the training is very difficult. You must first learn how to build up 
your Qi and fill up your eight Qi vessels (the 12 major Qi channels and 8 Qi vessels will be discussed 
in Part Three), and then you must know how to lead this Qi into the bone marrow to “wash” the 
marrow. Except for some Daoist monks, there are very few people who have lived more than 150 
years. The reason for this is that the training process is long and hard. You must have a pure mind 
and a simple lifestyle so that you can concentrate entirely on the training. Without a peaceful life, 
your training will not be effective. This is why the Daoist monks hide themselves in the mountains. 
Unfortunately, this is simply not possible for the average person. If you are interested in 
Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong training, please refer to the book: Muscle/Tendon Changing and 
Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Rung, available from YMAA Publication Center. 

Do not be misled into thinking that the Buddhist Chan (Zen) meditation is inferior to the Daoist 
approach. In fact, the Buddhists often had much greater success in reaching enlightenment than the 
Daoists through their use of still meditation. Additionally, many of the Daoist Qigong practices 
originated with the Buddhists. The Daoists then modified them to suit their own circumstances and 
purposes, and some of the practices, like Marrow/Brain Washing, were practiced much more widely 
by the Daoists than the Buddhists. 

Many Daoist Qigong styles are based on the theory of cultivating both the spirit and the physical 
body. In Daoism, there are generally three ways of training: Jin Dan Da Dao (Golden Elixir Large 
Way,£ A ^LShuang Xiu (Double Training, band Dao Wai Cai Yao (Herb Picking Outside of 
the Dao,'^ ? i'^&)' -Jin Dan Da Dao teaches the ways of Qigong training within yourself. This 
approach believes that you can find the elixir of longevity or even enlightenment within your own 
body. 

In the second approach, Shuang Xiu (Double Training), a partner is used to balance one’s Qi more 
quickly. Most people’s Qi is not entirely balanced. Some people are a bit too positive, others too 
negative, and individual channels also are positive or negative. If you know how to exchange Qi with 
your partner, you can help each other out and speed your training. Your partner can be either the 
same sex or opposite. 

The third way, which is called Dao Wai Cai Yao, uses herbs to speed and control the cultivation. 
Herbs can be plants such as ginseng, or animal products such as musk from the musk-deer. 

According to the training methods used, Daoist Qigong can again be divided into two major 
schools: Qing Xiu Pai (Peaceful Cultivation Division, # ^Oand Zai Jie Pai (Plant and Graft 
Division, &) -This division was especially clear after the Song and Yuan dynasties (960-1367 
A.D.,S ' -*-)■ The meditation and the training theory and methods of the Qing Xiu Pai (Peaceful 
Cultivation Division) are close to those of the Buddhists. They believed that the only way to reach 
enlightenment is Jin Dan Da Dao (Golden Elixir Large Way), according to which you build up the 
elixir within your body. Using a partner for the cultivation is immoral and will cause emotional 



problems which may significantly affect the cultivation. 

However, the Zai Jie Pai (Plant and Graft Division) claims that in addition to Jin Dan Da Dao, 
their methods of Shuang Xiu (Double Training) and Dao Wai Cai Yao (Herb Picking Outside of the 
Dao) make the cultivation faster and more practical. For this reason, Daoist Qigong training is also 
commonly called “Dan Ding Dao Gong”(# ^ which means “the Dao Training in the Elixir 
Crucible.” The Daoists originally believed that they would be able to find and purify the elixir from 
herbs. Later, they realized that the only real elixir was in your body. 

According to my understanding, the major difference between the two Daoist schools is that the 
Qing Xiu Pai aims for enlightenment in a way similar to the Buddhists’ striving for Buddhahood, 
while the Zai Jie Pai uses the training to achieve a normal, healthy, long life. We will discuss these 
two major Daoist schools more extensively in a later volume. 

You can see that Daoism has already been a religion and a scholarly study of Qigong methods. As 
a modern and scientific Qigong practitioner, you should only adopt the Qigong training methods 
which can benefit you. Superstition should be filtered out. However, you need to know the historical 
background so that you will understand the root and the motivation of the training. 

To conclude, the characteristics of Daoist Qigong are: 

1. Daoist Qigong and enlightenment theories were based on those of the Buddhists. It 
later developed into its own unique style. 

2. Daoist religion was a mixture of Buddhism with traditional Daoism. 

3. Original Daoist Qigong training aimed for enlightenment, and later was used for 
improving health and longevity. 

4. There are two major schools of Daoist Qigong training, one of which is similar to 
Buddhist training. 



References 


1 


Ai-t + • 


2 


— ~S * 


3 There are many reports in popular and professional literature of using Qigong to help or even cure 
many illnesses, including cancer. Many cases have been discussed in the Chinese Qigong journals. 
One book which describes the use of Qigong to cure cancer is New Qigong for Preventing and 
Curing Cancel! 1 ** >6 A £ ),by Ye MingC .^Chinese Yoga Publications, Taiwan, 1986. 


4 


p > £18 A*' « * 


CHAPTER 6 


Qigong Theory 



6-1. Introduction 


Many people think that Qigong is a difficult subject to understand. In some ways, this is true. 
However, regardless of how difficult the theory and practice of a particular style of Qigong might be, 
the basic Qi theory and principles are very simple and remain the same for all of the Qigong styles. 
Basic Qi theory and Qigong principles are the roots of all Qigong practice, and it is from these roots 
that the different styles of training blossomed. Naturally, the results and the depth achieved are 
different from style to style. If, however, you understand the root of what you are doing, it does not 
matter which style you are practicing, because you will be able to grasp the key to the practice and 
grow. 

As discussed in the last chapter, there are three major purposes of Qigong other than martial arts: 
health, longevity, and spiritual enlightenment. Although all three groups use the same basic Qi 
theory in their training, they use different training theories and methods to reach their goals. For 
example, people who are training for longevity use deeper, more advanced training methods than 
people who are practicing to improve their health, while the people who are striving for 
enlightenment use training theories and methods which are deeper still. 

If you wish to understand the science of Qigong, you must understand the different categories and 
their respective training theories. This will be like a map of the terrain making it easier for you to 
select your goal and plan your route. Without this map, you will wander around confused, uncertain 
of your goal. 

Previous sections have discussed general Qi theory, and some of the ways in which Qi affects 
human beings. Qi circulation theory will be discussed in greater detail later. Now, we will discuss 
general training theory and methods, and what each approach has to offer you. 

Generally speaking, all Qigong practices, according to the training theory and methods, can be 
divided into two general categories: Wai Dan (External Elixir, ^ If )and Nei Dan (Internal 
Elixir, ^ A" ) -Understanding the difference between them will give you an overview of most Chinese 
Qigong practices. 



6-2. Wai Dan (External Elixir) 


* hfr 

“Wai” means “external or outside,” and “Dan” means “elixir.” External here means the limbs, as 
opposed to the torso, which includes all of the vital organs. Elixir is a hypothetical, life prolonging 
substance for which Chinese Daoists have been searching for millennia. They originally thought that 
the elixir was something physical which could be prepared with herbs or chemicals purified in a 
furnace. After thousands of years of study and experimentation, they found that the elixir is in the 
body. In other words, if you want to prolong your life, you must find the elixir in your body, and 
then learn to protect it and nourish it. 

Sometimes Wai Dan also refers to herbal pills which can be used to adjust or increase the Qi 
circulation in the body. In this book we will only discuss the Qigong Wai Dan training theory and 
methods, and leave the discussion of herbal Wai Dan theory to qualified herbal masters. 

The human body has twelve major Qi channels (Jing/ i: ) (actually pairs of channels, one on either 
side of the body), which are comparable to rivers. Six of these are connected to the fingers, and the 
other six are connected to the toes. All of these twelve are connected to internal organs. The body 
also has eight Qi vessels (Mai, -which serve as reservoirs, and also regulate the Qi in the twelve 
channels. Millions of tiny channels (Luo,&)carry Qi from the major channels to every part of the 
body, from the skin to the bone marrow. Whenever the Qi is stagnant in any of the twelve major 
channels, the related organ will receive an incorrect amount of Qi. This will cause the organ to 
malfunction, or at least to degenerate sooner than normal, and this in turn will cause illness and 
premature aging if left uncorrected. Just as a machine needs the correct amount of current to run 
properly, your organs must have the right amount of Qi to function well. Therefore, the most basic 
way to maintain the health of the organs is to keep the Qi flow balanced and smooth. This is the idea 
upon which Wai Dan (External Elixir) Qigong is based. 

The theory is very simple. When you do Wai Dan exercises you concentrate your attention on 
your limbs. As you exercise, the Qi builds up in your arms and legs. When the Qi potential in your 
limbs builds to a high enough level, the Qi will flow through the channels, clearing any obstructions 
and nourishing the organs. This is the main reason that a person who works out, or has a physical 
job, is generally healthier than someone who sits around all day. 

There are many available Wai Dan Qigong sets. A typical one is Da Mo’s Muscle/Tendon 
Changing Classic (Wai Dan Yi Jin Jing^ fr v & Tin this set, the practitioner slightly tenses up the 
local limb muscles in specific postures, such as tensing up the wrist while holding both arms in front 
of the chest, and then relaxing completely. This repeated tensing and relaxing builds up a greater 
concentration of Qi in the area being exercised. When the practitioner finishes the exercise and 
relaxes, the accumulated Qi flows to the organs. In this category of Wai Dan training, the specific 
stationary postures and the tensing and relaxing of the muscles are the two ways in which the Qi 
circulation is increased. 

There are other Wai Dan sets which, in addition to tensing and relaxing the muscles, also move the 
arms and legs in specific ways so that the muscles around certain organs are stretched and then 
relaxed. In addition to building up Qi in the limbs, these exercises increase the Qi circulation around 
and in the organs more directly than the Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic does. For example, you 
may raise your arms over your head and then lower them repeatedly, exercising the muscles around 
the lungs, extending and releasing them gently to massage the lungs and stimulate the flow of Qi and 
blood. A typical set of Wai Dan which uses moving exercises is the Eight Pieces of Brocade (Ba 



Duan Jin a )■ 

Many Qigong beginners believe mistakenly that since Wai Dan Qigong theory and training are 
simple, these sets are only for beginners. In fact, most people who train Nei Dan Qigong later come 
back to Wai Dan, and combine the two to increase their control over their Qi. 

These two categories of Wai Dan training methods, in addition to improving martial arts 
performance, also give you a healthy body, and can even cure some illnesses. Improved health may 
increase the length of your life, but not to the 150 years that was achieved by some of the Daoists and 
Buddhists. These results require deeper theory and training, under the supervision of a qualified 
master. Longevity Qigong exercises will be discussed in the section on Nei Dan Qigong. I would like 
to conclude with three points about Wai Dan Qigong: 

1. Wai Dan Qigong aims at maintaining health, and has only a limited effect on 
longevity. Many Wai Dan Qigong exercises were created to increase martial 
ability. 

2. Wai Dan Muscle/Tendon tension and relaxation practice focuses on training the Qi 
in the limbs. The main purpose of increasing the Qi in the limbs is to energize the 
muscles to their highest efficiency. The specific postures also train the coordination 
of the muscles in the torso with those in the limbs. If you understand that one of the 
major purposes of Da Mo’s Wai Dan exercises is to increase martial power, then 
you will see why the limbs are emphasized in the training. After Da Mo, many sets 
were created from the same theory, mostly by martial artists. Naturally, these 
exercises will also improve health. However, many martial artists who trained the 
Da Mo Wai Dan exercises heavily for a long time found that they over-developed 
their muscles the way weight lifters often do. Although they were healthy as long 
as they were able to practice, once they got old their muscles degenerated much 
faster than normal. This is called “San Kung” (energy dispersion, & # ) Because of 
this, Da Mo created a set of Nei Dan exercises which is also included in the 
Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic. This set builds up and circulates the Qi 
internally, preventing the Qi channels from plugging up when the practitioner gets 
older. 

3. The moving Wai Dan practices focus on increasing the Qi circulation around the 
organs through specific movements. This category of Wai Dan practice will not 
build the muscles like the last category. Wai Dan exercises like this are used mainly 
for health. 



6-3. Nei Dan (Internal Elixir) 


“Nei” means “internal” and “Dan” means “elixir.” Thus, Nei Dan means to build the elixir 
internally. Here, internally means in the body instead of in the limbs. Whereas in Wai Dan the Qi is 
built up in the limbs and then moved into the body, Nei Dan exercises build up Qi in the body and 
lead it out to the limbs. 

Generally speaking, Nei Dan theory is deeper than Wai Dan theory, and its training theory and 
methods are more difficult to understand and practice. Traditionally, most of the Nei Dan Qigong 
practices have been passed down more secretly than those of the Wai Dan. This is especially true of 
the highest levels of Nei Dan, such as Marrow/Brain Washing, which were passed down to only a 
few trusted disciples. There are a number of reasons for this: 

1. Nei Dan is hard to understand, so only the disciples who were intelligent and wise 
enough to understand it were taught. 

2. Nei Dan practice can be dangerous. Inaccurate practice may cause crippling, 
paralysis, or even death. This can happen especially to the disciple who does not 
understand the what, why, and how of his practice. 

3. In much of Nei Dan Qigong you are working with and guided by very subtle 
feelings and sensations. Under the guidance of a master you should be able to grasp 
the key to the training in a short time. However, if you try to figure it out by 
yourself, you may get confused, or injure yourself seriously. 

4. In order to reach the higher levels of Nei Dan Qigong, you must conserve your Jing 
and restrain your sex life. Also, you must spend a lot of time in practice, which 
makes normal married life impossible. Furthermore, in order to reach a spiritual 
balance, you must train yourself to be emotionally neutral and independent. In 
order to preserve your Jing and have a peaceful environment for your training, you 
almost have to go away to the mountains and become a hermit, or become a monk 
in a monastery. Still, though Nei Dan is difficult to understand and practice, it is 
practiced by many laymen. They, however, can only reach a certain level of 
achievement, such as health and longevity, but not enlightenment. 

Before we discuss the training categories of Nei Dan, you should understand how Nei Dan Qigong 
practice relates to the Qi circulation in the human body. As we have mentioned, the human body has 
twelve Qi channels which are considered Qi rivers. Each of these channels is connected to a finger or 
toe, and is also associated with an internal organ. In order to keep the twelve organs healthy, the Qi 
flowing in the Qi rivers must be smooth and continuous, and the Qi level running in each channel 
must be appropriate for that channel. Whenever the Qi flow is stagnant or the Qi level abnormal, the 
organs will not function properly and may eventually be damaged. Therefore, the first goal of this 
Qigong practice is to keep the Qi running smoothly and at the appropriate levels in the channels. 

In addition to these twelve channels, there are eight vessels which are considered Qi reservoirs and 
which regulate the Qi running in the Qi rivers. In order to have the potential to supply and regulate 
the Qi, the vessels must be full. When there is enough Qi in the reservoirs to supply and regulate the 
Qi in the rivers, you will be healthy. Therefore, the second goal of Qigong practice is to learn to fill 
up the Qi reservoirs with Qi. 

When you have attained these two goals, you have built a good foundation for a healthy body. The 



training methods you must practice to reach these two goals are explained clearly in Da Mo’s 
Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic. However, if you desire longevity, you must enter a deeper level 
of Nei Dan Qigong exercises. This level is described in Da Mo’s Marrow/Brain Washing Classic. 

In order to have a long life, you need to have not only a healthy physical body and smooth Qi 
circulation, but also training in two more disciplines. The first concerns your blood, the second your 
spirit. Your blood runs through your entire body. If your blood cells are not healthy, it does not 
matter how healthy and strong your physical body and organs appear to be, because your physical 
body will degenerate quickly. The marrow is the factory which makes your blood cells. If you know 
how to keep your marrow healthy and fresh, the quality of the blood cells will be high. When these 
healthy and fresh blood cells are running in your physical body, the degeneration process will slow 
down and your life span will increase. 

When you train Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong, you must also learn how to lead Qi to your brain 
and raise your Shen. When the Shen is raised, you will have a center or headquarters which will be 
able to effectively control your Qi and strengthen your body’s Guardian Qi so that it is better able to 
repel negative outside influences. The raised Shen will also direct the Qi so that the organs function 
properly. However, the most important benefit of Marrow/Brain Washing training is the fresh, 
nourishing Qi brought to your brain, which insures its health. Marrow/Brain Washing training will 
keep your brain strong, calm, and peaceful. 

Before we discuss Nei Dan practice further, you should understand that there are many different 
methods of Nei Dan practice. We will discuss the two major ones: Da Mo’s Muscle/Tendon 
Changing Classic (Yi Jin Jing), and his Marrow/Brain Washing Classic (Xi Sui Jing). 



Da Mo’s Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic (Da Mo Yi Jin Jing , ; ^ ® ) 


As mentioned before, Da Mo’s Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic includes two parts. The first part 
is the Wai Dan external Qigong exercises, and the second part is the Nei Dan internal Qigong 
training. The Wai Dan external Qigong has already been discussed, so we will discuss the Nei Dan 
internal training here. Da Mo’s Nei Dan training includes two major practices. 

Figure 6-1. Huiyin cavity (Co-1) 




Small Circulation (Xiao Zhou Tian, 

One of the major purposes of Nei Dan training is to fill up the Qi reservoirs, i.e. the eight vessels. 
When the Qi there is abundant, you will be able to supply enough Qi to the rest of your body. Small 
Circulation has two major purposes. The first purpose is to build up Qi at the Lower Dan Tian, and 
the second purpose is to store and circulate Qi in the two major reservoirs: the Conception and 
Governing Vessels. 

You must learn abdominal breathing in order to build up Qi at your Lower Dan Tian. Then you 
must lead this Qi to circulate in the vessels and open up the cavities which are plugged up or where 


the Qi flow is sluggish. For example, when you were a child, the Huiyin cavity (Co- 1)C£"E£ ^(Figure 
6-1) in the perineum was wide open. However, as you got older and abandoned abdominal breathing, 
it gradually plugged up so that the Qi circulation through it became sluggish. There are a number of 
other cavities where the Qi path narrows and the circulation slows down. Wherever the circulation is 
sluggish and not smooth, the Qi supply to the organs and the entire body will lose its balance and you 
may become sick. 


Figure 6-2. The Fire Path of Qi circulation 



There are a number of ways in which Qi can be circulated in the body through the Small 
Circulation. However, there are two major ones which are commonly practiced: the “Fire Path” and 
the “Wind Path.” 

The Fire Path (Huo Lu,*-*)-The Fire Path is the way Qi naturally circulates in the human body. 
The Qi moves down the Conception Vessel (Ren Mai,^ ^ )and up the Governing Vessel (Du 


Mai,^ H '' ) Figure 6-2). The Conception Vessel is considered Yin (negative), and runs down the 
center of the front of the body. The Governing Vessel is considered Yang (positive). It runs from the 
Huiyin, where it connects to the Conception Vessel, up along the outside of the spine to the back of 
the neck, passes over the head to the top of the inside of the mouth where it connects with the Yin 
vessel on the tongue. 

Normally, Post-birth Qi (Fire Qi,^&- )<which was converted from the Jing of food and air in the 
“Sanjiao” (Triple Burner, 5 * ft ) After this Qi is converted, it is stored in the Middle Dan Tian. This Qi 
moves down to the Lower Dan Tian and mixes with Water Qi. The mixed Qi moves down to the 
Huiyin, and at the Huiyin it divides into two Qi flows. One of them enters the Thrusting Vessel 
(Chong Mai,^^ jin the spinal cord and moves up to nourish the brain. This path is considered the 
“Water Path” (Shui Lu,^& )and is the path trained in Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong. The Water 
Path will be discussed later. The second flow passes the Huiyin and moves up the back following the 
Governing Vessel (along the outside of the spine), passes over the crown and finally connects to the 
Conception Vessel to complete the cycle. This second path is the “Fire Path.” 

As Qi circulates through the Fire Path, there is always one part of the path where the Qi level is 
higher than elsewhere, and this area circulates around the path regularly twenty four hours. It is this 
area of higher Qi potential which keeps the Qi flowing. (I believe that this potential is created by the 
earth’s spinning inside the sun’s electromagnetic field.) Just as water will only flow from a higher to 
a lower level, Qi will only move from a place of higher potential to one of lower potential. In 
Chinese medicine, this place of higher potential is called “Zi Wu Liu Zhu,F ^ £ ’Zi refers to the 

two hours between 1 1 PM and 1 AM, and Wu refers to the time between 1 1 AM to 1 PM. Liu means 
“flow,” and Zhu means “tendency.” Zi Wu Liu Zhu therefore means “the major Qi flow tendency 
which follows the time change.” In the Fire Path, the place of higher potential normally starts at 
noon at the Middle Dan Tian (solar plexus) and moves down to reach the Lower Dan Tian and mix 
with the Dan Tian Qi between 2-4 PM. Next, it goes down to the Huiyin at sunset and moves to the 
back in the evening, reaching the top of the head at midnight At sunrise the Qi is in the face, and by 
noon it has reached the Middle Dan Tian to complete the cycle. 

One of the major purposes of Small Circulation practice is to build up Original Qi at the Lower 
Dan Tian. Original Qi is created from the Original Essence drawn from the kidneys, which mixes 
with and dilutes the Post-birth Qi which comes from food and air. Post-birth Qi, which contains 
undesirable products from the food and air, is considered Fire Qi because it has a heating effect on 
the body. Original Qi is considered Water Qi, and it is pure and cools down the Fire Qi. Diluting and 
cooling down the contaminated Qi is the first step in cooling down the fire in your physical body. 
This process will slow your body’s degeneration. In the Fire Path, a practitioner usually learns to 
build or strengthen his Water Qi in the Lower Dan Tian (Field of Elixir) through abdominal 
breathing or mental concentration. When the Qi is built up to a certain level, the mind leads the Qi to 
circulate through the Conception and Governing Vessels. 

Another task in Small Circulation is the opening of cavities where the Qi flow is sluggish. In Fire 
Path Qigong training, there are three cavities which must be opened and are considered dangerous. If 
you do not understand this and do not proceed cautiously, you might cause yourself serious injury. 
The Fire Path will be discussed in greater detail in a later volume on Small Circulation Meditation. 
You may also refer to the chapter on Nei Dan in the author’s Qigong book: Chi Kung — Health and 
Martial Arts. 


Figure 6-3. The Wind Path of Qi circulation 




The Wind Path (Feng Lu, ; ) -Generally speaking, the Wind Path of Qi circulation is not as 

popular as the Fire Path. Because it circulates Qi in the direction opposite to the normal flow, many 
Qigong practitioners believe that it will disturb the natural Qi circulation and cause problems. There 
are very few documents which discuss this path. However, some discuss a portion of the complete 
cycle, usually from the Lower Dan Tian up to the Middle Dan Tian, and many Qigong practitioners 
have trained it. 

In this portion of the Wind Path Qi circulation, once the Original Qi is built up in the Dan Tian, 
the practitioner leads it up to circulate in the direction opposite to the one trained in the Fire Path 
(Figure 6-3). Normally, this is trained when you have completed your Fire Path Small Circulation. 
There are two reasons for circulating the Wind Path: 

1. To slow down the natural Qi circulation in the Conception and Governing Vessels 
by circulating Qi against the flow. If the Qi flow in your Fire path is too Yang 
because of excitement, injury, sickness, or even eating poor food, your whole body 
will become too Yang when this Qi is distributed through the twelve Qi channels. 



This Yang Qi will damage your organs, and make your mind excited and scattered. 

The Wind Path can regulate the Qi circulating in your Fire Path, and rebalance the 
Qi in your body. 

2. An important Qigong practice is raising up the Pre-birth Qi (Essence Qi or Water 
Qi) generated in the Lower Dan Tian to cool down the Post-birth Qi (food and air 
Qi, or Fire Qi) which is generated in the Middle Dan Tian at the solar plexus. When 
this is done, the clean Water Qi will be able to dilute the contaminated Fire Qi 
before it starts to circulate. This raising of the Water Qi is done through the Wind 
Path. 

Wind Path circulation will be discussed in more detail in a later volume on Small Circulation 
Meditation. 

Grand Circulation (Da Zhou Tian/' ^ ^ )■ After you have opened up the path of the Conception 
and Governing Vessels, you have completed what is called “Xiao Zhou Tian,” or “Small 
Circulation.” This was the first step in the Nei Dan part of Da Mo’s Muscle/Tendon Changing 
Classic. The second step is opening the twelve channels to keep the Qi flowing in the organs and 
limbs. As we mentioned before, Nei Dan differs from Wai Dan Qigong in that it builds up Qi in the 
body and then circulates it outward to the limbs. 

Only after you have opened up all of the twelve channels and the Qi is able to flow to the 
extremities are you protected from the Qi blockages which are associated with the Wai Dan 
Muscle/Tendon exercises. Once you have completed your Grand Circulation, you have completed 
Da Mo’s Nei Dan Muscle/Tendon Qigong training. This training must be completed before a Qigong 
practitioner begins Da Mo’s Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong training. 



Da Mo’s Marrow/Brain Washing Classic (Da Mo Xi Sui Jing, * J 


Da Mo’s Marrow/Brain Washing Classic was kept secret until only the last ten years. It explains 
the secret of longevity and of reaching the goal of enlightenment and Buddhahood. Both the theory 
and the training are deep. Normally, only those who thoroughly understood Qigong training theory 
and had long years of Qigong experience, especially of Da Mo’s Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic, 
were taught the Marrow/Brain Washing Classic. 

The Chinese name of the work is Xi Sui Jing. “Xi” means “to wash, to keep clean and fresh.” 
“Sui” means two things, the marrow which is called “Gu Sui”( J B'fi)and the brain which is called 
“Nao Sui”(®*0-Jing is a treatise or classic. You can see from this that the main goal of Xi Sui Jing 
is to wash the bone marrow and the brain and keep them clean and fresh. 

Generally speaking, Marrow/Brain Washing has two major purposes: longevity, and 
enlightenment or Buddhahood. Laymen usually strive for longevity, while monks sought 
enlightenment or Buddhahood as the culmination of their Daoist or Buddhist training. We will 
discuss these two purposes briefly here. The interested reader should refer to the YMAA book: 
Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Kung. 

Longevity. According to Chinese medicine, your body deteriorates as you age mainly because 
your blood loses its ability to feed and protect your body. Your bone marrow produces the red blood 
cells and one type of the white blood cells, but as you grow older, the marrow becomes “dirty,” and 
produces fewer and fewer useful blood cells. However, if you know how to “wash” the marrow, it 
will start once again to produce fresh, healthy blood. Your body will begin to rejuvenate itself, and 
restore itself to the glowing health of youth. 

You should understand that in order to produce healthy blood cells, the marrow must be alive, 
fresh (clean), and active. To keep the marrow fresh and alive and functioning properly, Qi must be 
plentiful and continuously supplied. Whenever there is a shortage of Qi, the marrow will not 
function normally. In Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong, you must first learn how fill up the “eight 
extraordinary Qi vessels” with Qi. These vessels are your reservoirs of Qi. With plenty of Qi stored 
in them, you will have enough Qi to supply your muscles, organs, and marrow. In order to fill up the 
reservoirs, you must learn how to efficiently convert your Essence into Qi. You must also learn how 
to increase your Essence so that you will have enough material to convert into Qi. Essence is like the 
fuel, Qi is like the energy generated, and bone marrow is the factory. With plenty of energy supplied, 
the production line of the blood cells will be healthy. When the fresh and healthy blood cells are 
circulated throughout your body, they will carry out their mission efficiently. This will slow down 
the degeneration of your physical body so that it lasts a lot longer. It is just like running an expensive 
car with good quality fuel — the car will run more efficiently and last longer. 

Enlightenment. For the Chinese monks, Marrow/Brain Washing is only a step necessary for 
reaching the final goal of enlightenment or Buddhahood. In order to reach this purpose, the Qi must 
be led up through the spinal cord to nourish the brain. When the brain is nourished, the Shen (i.e. 
spirit) is also nourished, and it will grow stronger and stronger until it is able to reach the final goal 
of spiritual independence. 

According to Chinese medical science, the Chong Mai (Thrusting Vessel,*? &)is the major Qi 
reservoir which supplies Qi to the brain. The Chong Mai is located in the spinal cord. Therefore, in 
order to have plenty of Qi to continuously nourish the brain and Shen, the Chong Mai reservoir must 
be kept full. 

You can see that religious Marrow/Brain Washing concentrates on the Qi circulation in the spinal 
cord. However, for good health and longevity you must wash the marrow in all of the bones so that 



all of the blood cell factories function properly. Many techniques have been developed by Qigong 
practitioners to achieve this purpose. However, the most complete and profound study both in theory 
and training is credited to the Daoists. Since ancient times, Daoists have practiced Qigong for both 
longevity and enlightenment. 

Do not think that there is no health and longevity benefit when the Qi is led to nourish the brain 
and raise the Shen. As a matter of fact, your brain and spirit are the center and headquarters of your 
whole being. When your brain is healthy, you will be able to think clearly. You need to have a 
healthy brain if you want a healthy body. In the same way, your Shen is your Qi control center. 
When your spirit is high the Qi can be led efficiently to every part of the body, but when your spirit 
is low your energy level will be low and the Qi will not circulate smoothly. 

Generally, there are three steps to Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong training: 

1. To increase the Essence 

The Essence which is converted into Qi in Marrow/Brain Washing is not primarily 
from the kidneys, but rather from the sexual organs (testicles in men and ovaries in 
women). Essence here means the hormones. Many ways have been developed to 
increase this Essence. This is discussed more fully in the YMAA book: 
Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Kung. 

2. To convert the Essence into Qi 

There are two vessels or Qi reservoirs in your legs which are called “Yinchiao 
Mai” (The Yin Heel Vessel, -Their main Qi source is the Essence which 
comes from your sexual organs. When the Qi that is in these vessels is withdrawn, 
more Qi will automatically be converted. Therefore, you must know how to draw 
Qi from these reservoirs. This is done in the next step. 

3. To sublimate the Qi upward 

This means to lead your Qi upward into the Chong Mai (Thrusting Vessel), and 
then into the brain to nourish the brain and raise the Shen. 

You can see that the processes discussed above include “converting the Essence into Qi” (Lian 
Jing Hua Qi,*fc-#Mb &.)and “nourishing the Shen with the Qi” (Lian Qi Hua Shen,& ) There are 
two more steps to reach the final goal of enlightenment. These two steps are: “to refine the Shen and 
enter emptiness” (Lian Shen Fan Xu,^#^J£ )and “to crush the emptiness” (Fen Sui Xu 
Kong,#&^ )-This is discussed in the YMAA book: Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain 
Washing Chi Kung. 

The Water Path (Shui Lu, **)■ Now that you have some idea of Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong 
training, it is time to discuss the Water Path of Qigong circulation. Water Path Qigong, which passes 
through the spinal cord, is one of the higher levels of Qigong practice. Once you have built your Pre- 
birth Qi in the Dan Tian, you use your mind and special training to lead the Qi into the branch of the 
Thrusting Vessel (Chong Mai,*f*fe)which is located in the spinal cord (Figure 6-4). The Water Path, 
which is used in Marrow/Brain Washing, uses the Water Qi generated from the Lower Dan Tian, but 
it also generates Qi through a different method, for example, by using the sexual organs as 
mentioned above. 

The average person already has some circulation in the Water Path to nourish the brain. In the 
evening, when the Qi circulation is strongest in the Huiyin (Co-1), it divides into two flows. One 
flow circulates in the Fire Path outside of the spine, and the other passes through the spinal cord and 
moves up to nourish the brain and Shen. This usually happens at midnight while you are sleeping. 
Between midnight and early morning, the Qi also flows to the groin to energize the area and 
stimulate the generation of hormones and semen (Jing or Essence). A major part of Marrow/Brain 



Washing Qigong is increasing the efficiency of the conversion of semen into Qi and leading it to 
nourish the brain and energize the Shen (spirit). The energized mind is then able to adjust the Qi 
level in the organs and other parts of the body. This Qigong practice is difficult to do, but, once 
competence has been achieved, the practice is the most efficient. It is reported that priests who reach 
this level are able to slow down the aging process to a minimum, and some are able to live over two 
hundred years. 


Figure 6-4. The Water Path of Qi circulation 



PART TWO 


General Keys to Qigong Training 



CHAPTER 7 


General Concepts 



7-1. Introduction 


When the average person goes to an apple orchard, he will usually pay attention only to the fruit. If 
he goes to a nursery, he will notice only the beauty and fragrance of the flowers. Few people 
consider that the fruit and flowers are only the result of a great deal of planning, preparation, and 
hard work. In the same way, when most people see another person’s success, few will stop to think 
about how that person could be so successful. Chinese people say: “When there is a result, there must 
be a cause,” and “If you want to harvest rice, you must first plant rice.” You have to know what you 
want and plan how to get it. Without this, there is no beginning. Next your project must be patiently 
nourished, watered, and protected. If the root is not nourished and protected, the tree will not grow 
strong, and the harvest will not be bountiful. 

Qigong training is not much different from growing a tree. In order for the Qigong tree to grow 
well and give an abundant harvest, you must plant a healthy seed. This means you must first do some 
research about the different kinds of trees so that you will know how to pick a seed which will grow 
into the kind of tree you want. In Part One we spread out all the seeds in front of you so that you 
could understand the background of the various Qigong training categories. Next you must learn 
how to plant the seed, water it, protect it, and make it grow. If you nourish and protect it, the root of 
the plant will grow strong, and you can expect a good harvest. If the root is weak, your Qigong tree 
will wither and die. 

The purpose of Part Two is to show you how to plant the seed, nourish it, and protect it. You 
should understand that it does not matter which type of tree you are growing, the general theory and 
methods for making the tree grow healthily remain the same. You always need sunshine, water, good 
soil, fertilizer, and protection from insects, and you always need to know where and when to plant 
your seed. 

There are five things which you must know in order to make your Qigong tree grow well. These 
are: regulating the body (Tiao Shen,^ ^regulating the breathing (Tiao Xi,$ &)■ regulating the 
mind (Tiao Xin,'^ '®) regulating the Qi (Tiao Qi,^J hand regulating the Shen (Tiao Shen,*#) You 
also need to know how they are interrelated. These are the foundation of successful Qigong practice. 
Without this foundation, your understanding of Qigong and your practice will remain superficial. 

This gives you an idea of the How in Qigong training. However, knowing How is not enough. It 
only offers you the theory and principles of training which have been developed by previous Qigong 
practitioners. Following the past may lead you to great success in your Qigong training, but it will 
not help you to develop Qigong training any further. For this you must not only know How, you 
must also know Why. A farmer may know the How of growing apple trees well, but only someone 
who understands the Why of it all will be able to improve the growing techniques or develop new 
variety of apples. It is the same in Qigong training — you want to be a Qigong botanist instead of 
just a Qigong farmer. Why and How are the roots of understanding. They are the theory and 
principle of study. 

Having an understanding of the Why of the training is especially important when you are just 
beginning. It lets you make an informed choice of a style which is best for you, and since you have a 
clear idea of where you are going, you can be confident, patient, and strong willed enough to 
complete the training. 

The rest of this chapter will discuss the key parts of Qigong training, such as how to build up Qi 
and the importance of Kan ( water, ^ )and Li (fire,# ) -Chapters 8 to 13 will discuss the general keys to 
Qigong training, such as how to regulate your body, breath, emotional mind, Essence, Qi, and Shen 
(spirit,# )■ Finally, chapter 14 will review some important points in Qigong practice. 



7-2. Building Qi 


Before we go any further in our discussion of the keys to Qigong training, you should first 
understand how Qi is generated in your body. Generally, the Qi is generated or converted naturally 
and automatically from the Essences within your body. These Essences include the inherited 
Original Essence which goes to make Water Qi, and the Essence from food and air which is 
transformed into Fire Qi. This natural Qi generation is the major source of your life force. If you eat 
more than you need, and don’t excrete the surplus, the extra food Essence will be stored in your body 
as fat. If you do not eat enough to provide for your daily energy needs, the food Essence stored as fat 
will be converted into Qi. 

When you practice Qigong you are looking to build up the Qi in your body, to increase the 
efficiency of the conversion of Essence into Qi, and to increase the smoothness of the Qi circulation. 
In order to increase the smoothness of the circulation you must build up the level of Qi and create Qi 
potential. When there is a difference in potential, the Qi will flow from the area of higher potential to 
the area of lower potential, thereby increasing the circulation. This will also clear up blockages that 
hinder the flow of Qi. 

There are many ways to build up Qi in the body. Analysis of the Qigong practices known to the 
author shows that the methods of building up Qi can be divided into four categories: 1. physical 
stimulation, 2. mental stimulation, 3. energizing the Shen, and 4. others. 



Physical Stimulation 


Physical stimulation is probably the easiest and most basic method of building up Qi. The theory 
is very simple. Whenever you move you need Qi to energize the muscles. If you keep moving for an 
extended period of time, Qi will have to be continuously supplied to the muscles. In order to keep 
supplying Qi, your body has to be continuously converting the Essence stored in your body into Qi. 
The more you exercise, the more Qi will be converted, and the more Qi will be built up in the area 
you are exercising. Once you stop your exercises, part of this accumulated Qi will be dissipated into 
the air from your skin, and the remainder will flow into the body to increase the Qi circulation in the 
Qi channels. 

We would like to remind you that if you over-exercise a particular area, your Qi may become too 
positive. As this Qi overflows into the channels, it may make your internal organs too positive, and 
speed up their degeneration. This is sometimes seen in people who do a lot of weightlifting. 
However, if you exercise properly, the Qi will circulate smoothly and your organs will receive only 
the proper amount of Qi. People who exercise correctly and regularly are usually healthier than 
people who do not exercise. 

As discussed in the sixth chapter, exercises which build up Qi in the limbs are called Wai Dan. 
Wai Dan Qigong exercises are simple. They are almost like any of the exercises which are common 
in the Western world. The only two differences are that when you practice you must concentrate 
your mind at the area being trained, and that the movements are designed for special purposes such 
as regulating specific organs. You should understand that it is your mind which leads the Qi to the 
area being trained. When you concentrate, you can build up and circulate the Qi more efficiently 
than when you don’t concentrate. This is especially true right after exercising, when you are relaxed. 
When your muscles are relaxed and loose, the Qi channels are wide open. If you concentrate and use 
your Yi (i.e. wisdom mind) to lead the Qi you have built up to your body, in coordination with your 
inhalations, you will be able to reduce the amount of Qi dissipated into the air, and the Qi can more 
efficiently nourish your body. 

Try the following experiment. It will help you to understand the key to building up and circulating 
Qi. It is a very simple Wai Dan exercise called “Gong Shou”(# -J* ) -which means “Arcing the Arms.” 
This exercise originated in Taijiquan, where it is very widely practiced. It provides the Qigong 
beginner with a simple way to experience Qi flow. 

For this exercise, stand with one leg rooted on the ground and the other in front of it, with only the 
toes touching the ground. Both arms are held in front of the chest, forming a horizontal circle, with 
the fingertips almost touching (Figure 7-1). The tongue should touch the roof of the mouth to 
connect the Yin and Yang Qi vessels (Conception and Governing Vessels respectively). The mind 
should be calm and relaxed and concentrated on the shoulders; breathing should be deep and regular. 

When you stand in this posture for about three minutes, your arms and one side of your back 
should feel sore and warm. Because the arms are held extended, the muscles and nerves are stressed. 
Qi will build up in this area and heat will be generated. Also, because one leg carries all the weight, 
the muscles and nerves in that leg and in one side of the back will be tense and will thereby build up 
Qi. Because this Qi is built up in the shoulders and legs rather than in the Dan Tian, it is considered 
“local Qi” or “Wai Dan Qi.” In order to keep the Qi build-up and the flow in the back balanced, after 
three minutes change your legs without moving the arms and stand this way for another three 
minutes. After the six minutes, put both feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart, and slowly lower 
your arms. The accumulated Qi will then flow into your arms naturally and strongly. It is just like a 
dam which, after accumulating a large amount of water, releases it and lets it flow out. At this time. 



concentrate and calm the mind and look for the feeling of Qi flowing from the shoulders to the palms 
and fingertips. Beginners can usually sense this Qi flow, which is typically felt as warmth or a slight 
numbness. 

Naturally, when you hold your arms out, you are also slowing the blood circulation, and when you 
lower your hands the blood will rush down into them. This may confuse you as to whether what you 
feel is due to Qi or the blood. You need to understand several things. First, wherever there is a living 
blood cell, there has to be Qi to keep it alive. Thus, when you relax after the arcing hands practice, 
both blood and Qi will come down to the hands. Second, since blood is material and Qi is energy, Qi 
can flow beyond your body but your blood cannot. Therefore, it is possible for you to test whether 
the exercise has brought extra Qi to your hands. Place your hands right in front of your face. You 
should be able to feel a slight sensation, which has to come from the Qi. You can also hold your 
palms close to each other, or move one hand near the other arm. In addition to a slight feeling of 
warmth, you may also sense a kind of electric charge which may make the hairs on your arm move. 
Blood cannot cause these feelings, so they have to be symptoms of Qi. 

Sometimes Qi is felt on the upper lip. This is because there is a channel (Hand Yangming Large 
Intestine, r ft ^ A^£)which runs over the top of the shoulder to the upper lip (Figure 7-2). However, 
the feeling is usually stronger in the palms and fingers than in the lip, because there are six Qi 
channels which pass through the shoulder to end in the hand, but there is only one channel 
connecting the lip and shoulder. Once you experience Qi flowing in your arms and shoulders during 
this exercise, you may also find that you can sense it in your back. 

This exercise is one of the most common practices for leading the beginner to experience the flow 
of Qi, and some Taiji styles place great emphasis on it. A similar type of Qigong exercise is also 
practiced by other styles, such as Emei Da Peng Gongt^ 1 ® ^ ). 


Figure 7-1. Posture of “Arcing the Arms” 



Figure 7-2. The Large Intestine Channel of Hand- Yang Brightness 



Mental Stimulation 


In the third chapter we discussed how it is possible for your body to move. We said that in order to 
move, you must first generate an idea. This idea will lead the Qi to the muscles to energize them so 
that they execute the order from your brain. You can see that your mind plays a most important role 
in your Qigong practice. It is said: “Yi Yi Yin Qi”(^^?l &)> which means “Use your Yi (wisdom 
mind) to lead your Qi.” Notice the word lead. Qi must be led. The word lead means that your mind 
must go first, and your Qi will naturally follow. If your mind is not ahead of your Qi, the Qi will not 
be led and your muscles will not be energized. 

For example, if you want to walk from one spot to another, you must first generate the idea of 
going to the second spot. This idea leads the Qi to the leg muscles and energizes them. If your mind 
stays at the first spot instead of going to the second one, you will not be able to move. You can see 
that it is your mind which you must activate first. Because of this, calming down and concentrating 
your mind is a very important part of Qigong training. The more you can concentrate, the stronger 
your Yi will be, and, naturally, the stronger your Qi will flow. 

Figure 7-3. Feeling Qi on the palms by imagining pushing downward 




Generally speaking, building up Qi by using the mind alone without physical movement is much 
harder than using the mind and movement together. However, since the mind is so important in 
Qigong training, learning how to regulate your mind has become one of the major trainings. 

The mental buildup of Qi is divided into Wai Dan (external elixir) and Nei Dan (internal elixir). In 
Wai Dan, the mind focuses on the limbs. You must imagine that you are making an appropriate 
motion in order to generate the proper idea, because this idea will lead the Qi to the area. After you 
practice for a few minutes, the Qi will be built up in the area. The stronger you can concentrate, the 
more you will be able to feel the Qi. 

Try this experiment. It will give you a feel for how Qi can be built up by your thinking. Hold your 
hands in front of you, where you feel that you can push downward most strongly (Figure 7-3). Your 
entire body must remain relaxed, especially your shoulders and arms. Inhale deeply, and as you 
exhale, image that you are pushing your hands down against a table. Do not actually move your body 
or arms, simply stand still with all of your muscles relaxed. If you are concentrating fully on what 
you are doing, after a few pushes your hands should start getting warm, and you may notice a 
sensation like air coming out of the center of your palms. This feeling will disappear when you 
inhale. 

It is harder to feel the Qi in this exercise because there is no physical stimulation. However, if you 
concentrate and relax enough, you will soon be able to feel something happening in your palms. This 
is a typical experiment in which you use your Yi (the idea that you are pushing) to lead the Qi to the 
palms. The more you practice, the stronger you will be able to lead the Qi to your palms. Naturally, 
this is only an experiment. An experienced Qigong practitioner is able to lead Qi to any part of his 
body simply by thinking. This particular exercise is of course a Wai Dan Qigong since the Qi is 
accumulated in the limbs. 

In Nei Dan mental Qi generation, the theory remains the same. The differences are first, you must 
concentrate your mind at the Lower Dan Tian and build up the Qi there, and second, you do not 
imagine that you are moving. You can, however, use a different idea, such as that your Dan Tian 
area is on fire. Your mind must stay at your Dan Tian until you have built up the Qi. This training is 
called “Yi Shou Dan Tian”(&^fr ^(keeping your Yi on your Dan Tian). The more you can 
concentrate, the faster and stronger the Qi will be built up. This Dan Tian Qi generation without 
physical stimulation is the source of Qi for Buddhist still meditation. Naturally, this exercise is much 
harder than the Wai Dan one. 



Energizing Shen 


When you are excited because of happiness or joy, you will often feel that your body is hot. This 
is because you have energized your spirit to a higher state, making your body too Yang, and your 
mind has directed the excess Qi to the skin to dissipate it so that the body can regain its energy 
balance. In the same way, when you are scared or nervous your body becomes too Yin and you may 
start trembling. Your body will then automatically tense up to keep from losing Qi through the skin. 
Tensing the body narrows the Qi channels and cuts down the circulation. This tensing phenomenon 
is also common in the winter when you feel cold and are shivering. If, at such times, you relax and 
exhale as you lead Qi to your skin, you will be able to expand your Guardian Qi (Wei Qi,#t *Oand 
stop feeling cold. Naturally, you will lose more Qi this way and will need to eat more to replenish the 
supply. 

You may have guessed that your Qi is closely related to your feelings. But you should also know 
that your feelings are generated from your mind and directed by your spirit. In Qigong training, one 
of the most important practices is stabilizing and firming your spirit. This enables you to keep your 
emotions under control, and avoid extremes of excitation or depression. You are also able to build up 
or calm down your Qi by raising or calming your spirit. One of the final stages of Qigong training 
involves using your spirit to efficiently govern the Qi in your body. 

Remember the times when you were tired both physically and mentally, and how easy it was to 
fall asleep then? When your mind is tired, your spirit gets weak, and loses control over your body. 
Your body seeks to recover from its fatigue, and let the Qi rebalance itself — i.e. you fall asleep so 
that your Yi gets out of the way and doesn’t interfere with the rebalancing. However, if you are 
excited over something, or worried, your mind won’t relax, and the Qi in your brain will keep your 
spirit high. 

For example, suppose at work you are assigned an important project which must be completed by 
a certain deadline. Furthermore, your boss promises that you will have a two week vacation once the 
assignment is finished. While working on the project you cannot sleep well, you are thinking about it 
all the time, and you are worried and excited. Your mind is always busy and your spirit is continually 
in a highly excited state. You may find that even though everyone else in your office catches the flu, 
you don’t. Finally, the project is completed and you have a two week vacation. All of the pressure is 
gone and at last you can relax. However, you find that when you start your vacation, you suddenly 
become ill. 

This is a common phenomenon which is very easy to explain according to Qigong principles. 
When you are in an excited and nervous state, your spirit is high. The spirit governs the Managing 
(Ying Qi,# &)and Guardian Qi (Wei Qi, J £ & .hand when the spirit is high it allows the Managing Qi 
to run your body very efficiently, and it builds up a strong shield of Guardian Qi around your body 
which effectively protects you from illness. However, once you have completed your project, the 
pressure is gone and your mind is relaxed, and so your spirit weakens. This allows the shield of 
Guardian Qi to weaken, and you get sick easily. Perhaps you’ve heard people say: “I don’t get sick 
because I’m too busy to get sick.” As a matter of fact, this is true. When you are busy, your excited 
mind raises your spirit and increase its efficiency in governing the Qi. 

Perhaps you have heard of someone who was desperately ill, and the doctors gave up all hope. 
However, because the patient had great faith and a strong will to live, he miraculously recovered. 
Again, his spirit played a role. His faith and strong will to live raised his spirit, which caused his Qi 
to repair the damage. 

In the first example, the spirit was raised mainly by the emotional mind, and in the second 


example it was raised by the calm and firm wisdom mind. Raising the spirit with a calm mind and 
strong will is closer to the idea of how Qigong trains the spirit. 

In Qigong training, you balance your Qi with your spirit, which is different from how your Qi 
balances during rest or sleep. In Qigong training you first train to regulate your mind, which makes 
your spirit steady, firm, and regulated. Then you use your mind and spirit to regulate the Qi in your 
body while you are meditating. When your emotional mind is regulated, you will be able to raise 
your spirit with your Yi without getting excited. This raised spirit will be able to govern the flow of 
Qi and regulate it efficiently. 



Others 


There are many other ways to build up the Qi or to increase its circulation in the body. Chinese 
medical society uses three: massage or acupressure, acupuncture, and herbal treatment. Massage and 
acupuncture use physical stimulation from outside of the body. Herbal treatment uses herbs either 
applied to the skin or taken internally. Controlling the diet is also considered an herbal internal 
regulating process. Acupuncture and herbal treatment are discussed in many books available today. 
If you are interested in Qigong massage, please refer to the book: Chinese Qigong Massage, 
available from YMAA Publication Center. 



7-3. Kan and Li 


The terms “Kan and Li”(& 1 &)occur frequently in Qigong documents. In the Eight Trigrams 
(BaguaA ^ )“Kan” represents “Water” while “Li” represents “Fire.” However, the everyday terms 
for water and fire are also often used. Kan and Li training has long been of major importance to 
Qigong practitioners. In order to understand why, you must understand these two words, and the 
theory behind them. 

Kan is Water and represents Yin in relationship to Li, which represents Fire and Yang. Qigong 
practitioners believe theoretically that your body is always too Yang unless you are sick or have not 
eaten for a long time, in which case your body may be more Yin. When your body is always Yang, it 
is degenerating and burning out. It is believed that this is the cause of aging. If you are able to use 
Water to cool down your body, you will be able to slow down the degeneration process and thereby 
lengthen your life. This is the main reason why Chinese Qigong practitioners have been studying 
ways of improving the quality of the Water in their bodies, and of reducing the quantity of the Fire. I 
believe that as a Qigong practitioner, you should always keep this subject at the top of your list for 
study and research. If your earnestly ponder and experiment, you will be able to grasp the trick of 
adjusting Fire and Water in your body. 



The Origins of Fire and Water 


First you must understand that Fire and Water mean many things in your body. The first concerns 
your Qi. Qi is classified as Fire or Water, which we have discussed earlier. When your Qi is not pure 
and causes your physical body to heat up and your mental/spiritual body to become unstable, it is 
classified as Fire Qi. The Qi which is pure and is able to cool both your physical and spiritual bodies 
is considered Water Qi. However, your body can never be purely water. Water can cool down the 
Fire, but it must never totally quench it. If the Fire in your body were put out, you would be dead. It 
is also said that Fire Qi is able to agitate and stimulate the emotions, and from these emotions 
generate a mind. This mind is called “Xin” (heart, "band is considered the Fire mind or emotional 
mind. On the other hand, when Water Qi generates a mind, it is calm, steady, and wise. This mind is 
called “Yi” (intention,^ band is considered the Water mind or wisdom mind. If your spirit is 
nourished by the Fire Qi, although your spirit may be high, it will be scattered and confused. 
Naturally, if the spirit is nourished and raised up by the Water Qi, it will be firm and steady. This 
will allow your mind to also be firm, calm, and steady. When your Yi is able to govern your 
emotional Xin effectively, your will (firm emotional intention) can be firm. 

You can see from this discussion that your Qi is the cause of the Fire and Water of your physical 
body, and of your mind and spirit. Therefore, adjusting the Water and Fire Qi to a healthy level has 
become a major study in Qigong society. 



How to Adjust Water and Fire 


There are many ways to adjust your Water and Fire. Among the more common ways are 
following: 

1. Proper Food and Fresh Air. 

Since Fire Qi comes from the food and air you take in, you are able to control it 
from its source. Generally speaking, meat products are worse than vegetables and 
fruit, and add more impurities to your body. But you should be aware that eating 
vegetables alone does not mean that you are improving your health. As a matter of 
fact, if you do not know what you are doing, you might end up with a severe 
protein deficiency. For most people, meat is the main source of protein. Among the 
vegetables, nuts and beans have the most protein. Soybeans have become one of the 
major foods for Buddhist and Daoist priests as well as laymen Qigong practitioners 
because of its high protein content. However, although some nuts and beans are 
high in protein, if you eat too much, or if you cook them the wrong way, they can 
also significantly increase your Fire Qi. For example, roasting peanuts is worse 
than boiling them in water. 

Daoists and Buddhists have studied this subject extensively. Not only have they 
studied vegetables, they have also investigated the use of herbs to improve the 
quality of the Qi in the body. They have even found that living in the mountains is 
better because the quality of the air is better. You can see that food, air, and herbs 
are of major importance in adjusting your Kan and Li. 

2. Regulating the Mind and Breathing. 

Regulating the mind and breathing are two of the basic techniques for controlling 
your Fire Qi. It is very important to remember that Fire Qi generates the emotional 
mind, and the emotional mind can increase your Fire Qi. Therefore, the first thing 
you must do is to learn how to regulate your mind. Once you can do this, your 
spirit will be firm and your emotions will be steady, and your Fire Qi will not be 
agitated to a high level. For example, if you have had too much alcohol, you will 
find that if you are able to keep your mind clear, and calm down your emotions, the 
Qi generated from the alcohol will not cause too much Fire in your body. However, 
if your wisdom mind is confused, your emotional mind will be agitated to a higher 
state and put your body on fire. 

In addition, in order to keep your mind calm and steady, you must also regulate 
your breathing. Remember the trick is to use the Metal Lungs to cool down the Fire 
Heart. 1 When breathing is regulated, the Fire Qi residing at the Middle Dan Tian 
(solar plexus) will be led to the lungs, which will dissipate the heat and cool down 
the body. Next time you have heartburn, before you reach for the antacids, first try 
deep breathing. 

Regulating the mind and the breathing cannot be separated. When the mind is 
regulated, the breathing can be regulated. When the breathing is regulated, the 
mind is able to enter a deeper level of calmness. They help each other mutually. 
We will discuss regulating the mind and the breath in more detail later. 

3. Steadying the Spirit. 

1 Fire Qi agitates and excites your emotional mind, which energizes your body and 
spirit. When you energize your spirit with your fiery emotional mind, the 


emotional mind will be scattered. On the other hand, when you raise your spirit 
with your watery wisdom mind, the wisdom mind becomes clearer. The emotional 
mind energizes and excites your spirit, while the wisdom mind raises and clears it. 
In Qigong practice, once you have reached the higher levels, a large part of your 
efforts will be devoted to training your spirit. You want to raise your spirit, but you 
also want it to be firm. In Qigong training, it is said “Yi Shou Yi Tian Jin Gang 
Qi” 3 , which means literally “Your mind keeps steady at one point metal steel Qi.” 
The idea expressed here is that when you refine your Qi into one tiny point at the 
Upper Dan Tian (i.e. the third eye), it can be as strong as steel. The Upper Dan 
Tian, which is the residence of your Shen, is the point where you train yourself to 
keep your mind. When your mind stays there, it is calm and your will is firm. Your 
spirit is the headquarters for controlling the Qi in your body. When your spirit is 
firm and steady, the Qi will be controlled efficiently, and you will be able to 
regulate the Fire Qi and prevent it from energizing your body. 

4. Circulating the Wind Path. 

It was mentioned in the sixth chapter that one of the Qi circulation methods trained 
in Qigong is the Wind Path, in which you circulate the Qi in the reverse direction. 
This is done to slow down or cool down the Fire Qi. Normally, this exercise 
focuses on the front of the body, bringing Water Qi from the Lower Dan Tian up 
the Conception Vessel to cool the Fire Qi in the Middle Dan Tian. This cools down 
the Qi even before it starts to circulate. This will be discussed more extensively in a 
future publication. 

5. Leading the Qi to the Water Path. 

The major training of Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong is leading the Qi to the 
Water Path beginning at the Huiyin cavity. When a portion of your Qi is led to the 
Water Path, it will weaken the Fire Qi and keep it from over-heating the body. This 
subject has been discussed briefly in the sixth chapter, and also covered more 
thoroughly in a subsequent volume, Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain 
Washing Qigong, available from YMAA Publication Center. 



References 


1 According to the Five Element theory (Wu Xing, I t An Chinese medicine, lungs belong to the 
element of metal while the heart is associated with the element of fire. 

2 

4^ -»*#**, - 


CHAPTER 8 


Regulating the Body (Tiao Shen) ^ 



8-1. Introduction 


In Qigong training, you need to know how to regulate five things: your body, breath, Xin (emotional 
mind), Qi, and Shen (spirit). In addition, in order to keep up a steady, adequate supply of Water Qi, 
you must also learn how to regulate the Essence from which it is converted. We will discuss them 
separately, but you must remember that in practice they are all closely linked together. 

Before we continue with this chapter, you should first understand the word regulating. Regulating 
means to adjust and tune constantly until the goal is reached. However, you should also understand 
that the real regulating happens only when you don’t need to consciously regulate. This means that if 
your mind has to pay attention to the regulating, you have not reached the final goal. The real 
regulating happens naturally, when you do not have to regulate it at all. It is just like when you are 
driving. Before you can drive, you must first learn how. While you are involved in the learning 
process, your mind will be on regulating your new skills. Once you have mastered the skill of 
driving, it isn’t necessary for your conscious mind to actually be on the act of driving, and you will 
be able to drive without driving. It is the same with Qigong training. When you start regulating the 
above five elements of your training, you may have to place all of your attention on it. After you 
have practiced and mastered the skills, regulating will no longer be necessary. Then, you have 
reached the real regulating without regulating. 

Regulating the Body is called “Tiao Shen”($t# ,)in Chinese. It means to adjust your body until it is 
in the most comfortable and relaxed state. This implies that your body must be centered and balanced 
posturally. If it is not, you will be tense and uneasy, which will affect the judgment of your Yi and 
the circulation of your Qi. In Chinese medical society it is said: “(When) shape (i.e. body’s posture) 
is not correct, then the Qi will not be smooth. (When) the Qi is not smooth, the Yi (mind) will not be 
at peace. (When) the Yi is not at peace, then the Qi is disordered .” 1 The relaxation of your body 
originates with your Yi. Therefore, before you can relax your body, you must first relax or regulate 
your mind (Yi). 

However, before you can do this, you must first regulate your Xin (emotional mind). It is the main 
reason that your Yi has difficulty being calm and peaceful. When you have regulated both the 
emotional and the wisdom minds as well as the body it is called “Shen Xin Ping 
Heng”C^’ ,i *’^ t# f) which means “Body and heart (mind) balanced.” The body and the mind are 
mutually related. A relaxed and balanced body doesn’t distract your attention, and lets your Yi relax 
and concentrate. When your Yi is at peace and can judge things accurately, your body will be 
centered, balanced, and relaxed. 


8-2. Relaxation Theory 


Relaxation is one of the major keys to success in Qigong. You should remember that only when 
you are relaxed will all your Qi channels be open. Relaxation includes two major parts: the mind (Yi 
and Xin) and the physical body. Generally, mind relaxation must come before the physical body is 
able to relax. We discussed before the two kinds of mind: Xin (emotional mind) and Yi (wisdom 
mind). The emotional mind affects your feelings and the condition of your physical body. The 
wisdom mind is able to lead you to a calm and peaceful state, which allows you to exercise good 
judgment. Therefore, in order to be relaxed, your Yi must first be relaxed and calm. Then, Yi is able 
to control the emotional mind and let it relax too. Finally, when the peaceful Yi and Xin coordinate 
with your breathing, the physical body will relax. 

In Qigong practice, there are three levels of relaxation. The first level is external, physical 
relaxation, or postural relaxation. This is a very superficial level, and almost anyone can reach it. It 
consists of adopting a comfortable stance and avoiding unnecessary strain in posture and movement. 
When you reach this level of relaxation, although you look relaxed, you are still tense internally. Of 
course, in order to reach this level of relaxation, the mind must first relax. Normally, your mind does 
not have to reach a very deep level to achieve this looking relaxed stage. Once you start to relax your 
mind, your body will follow naturally. 

The second level involves relaxing the muscles and tendons. To do this, your meditative mind 
must be calm and peaceful enough to feel deep into the muscles and tendons. From this feeling, your 
mind will know how to gauge the level of your relaxation. Only when you have reached this level 
will your mind be able to feel the Qi flow in the muscles and tendons. This level of relaxation will 
help open your Qi channels, and will allow the Qi to sink and accumulate in the Dan Tian. 

The final stage is the relaxation which reaches the internal organs and the bone marrow, and every 
pore in your skin. In order to be relaxed in your internal organs, your Yi must first have reached a 
very deep level of calmness and peace. Only then will you be able to sense the organs and marrow. 
Remember, only if you can relax deep into your body will your mind be able to lead the Qi there. 

Before we continue, you should understand the difference between feeling and sensing. The 
Chinese expression “Gan Jue”( & ^ ,)means “to feel” in the sense of touching and feeling something. 
The expression “Yi Shi”(&'»$ ) -which is translated “to sense,” literally means “Yi recognition” or “to 
recognize with your Yi.” When you feel something, it happens physically. Feeling is direct and 
active, while sensing is more indirect. In feeling, your emotional mind is able to touch the object. 
When sensing, however, you must use your Yi to perceive the situation. To sense, therefore, you 
must collect the information generated by the object, and process it so that you can understand and 
realize what is happening. Sensing involves a deeper level of spiritual intuition, beyond feeling, in 
which the object and the mind can communicate directly. 

In Qigong relaxation training, the deeper levels of relaxation include sensing the marrow and the 
organs. When you have reached this stage the Qi will be able to reach any point in your body. Then 
you will feel light and transparent — as if your whole body had disappeared. If you can reach this 
level of relaxation you will also be able to lead the Qi to your skin and strengthen your Guardian Qi. 
This will keep you from getting sick from outside causes. At this level of relaxation your Yi will also 
be able to adjust the Qi in your organs to cure Qi disorders. You will be able to protect your organs 
more effectively, and slow down their degeneration. 

An important part of the training in Qigong involves “leading the five Qi’s toward their origins” 
(Wu Qi Chao Yuan,-&&33 A. ,)-This involves adjusting the Qi in the five Yin organs (lungs, heart, 
kidneys, liver, and spleen) to the appropriate levels. Generally speaking, you are able to sense or 



even to feel the lungs much more easily than the other four organs. This is because your lungs move 
when you inhale and exhale. This obvious movement makes it very easy to be aware of them. The 
second organ that you can sense, once you have relaxed your lungs, is your heart. When you relax 
the heart, you can clearly sense and even feel it beating. The third organ is the kidneys. The kidneys 
can be sensed more easily than the liver and the spleen because there is liquid flowing constantly 
through them. The liver will be next, and then the spleen. Because the liver is much bigger than the 
spleen, it is easier to sense any movement, such as blood, inside it. We will discuss this idea further 
when we cover the regulation of organ Qi. 



8-3. Relaxation Practice 


Relaxation practice can be done anytime and anywhere. It can also be done in any posture. The 
first key to relaxation is your mind, and the second key is your breathing. Remember: when you 
relax, you must first relax your mind. Only when your mind is relaxed will your body start to relax 
and your lungs loosen. When your lungs are loose, you will be able to regulate your breathing and 
slow down your heartbeat. When this happens, your mind will reach to a deeper level of calmness 
and peace. This deeper mind will relax your lungs again, slowing down your heartbeat a further step. 
These processes will lead you to a deeply calm state which allows you to feel and sense every cell of 
your body and every function of the internal organs. Only then may you say that you have relaxed 
your body completely. 



Relaxing the Mind 


The regulation of your mind and breathing will be discussed in detail later. At this point, in order 
to practice relaxation you must start to practice mind regulation. In practice, there are two steps in 
regulating your mind. The first step is to bring all of your thoughts from the outside world to your 
body. This is usually done by concentrating on your “third eye” or Upper Dan Tian. Then regulate 
your concentrated mind until it is relaxed, easy, and natural. 

First, let your thoughts be calm and peaceful, so that you can concentrate your mind on relaxing. 
Your wisdom Yi must be able to control the thoughts or ideas generated from the emotional Xin. 
Only then will your mind be clear. Then you will be able to disregard surrounding distractions and 
focus on your body. When you have reached this stage, although your mind is clear, it may still be 
tense from concentrating. Therefore, you must learn to concentrate without mental tension. 
Remember: when your mind is tense, your physical body will also be tense. Therefore, the second 
step of practice it to relax your concentrated mind. Sometimes when people cannot sleep they 
concentrate all their attention on falling asleep. This only makes things worse. The trick is to 
concentrate on something else. Normally in Qigong you concentrate your mind on your breathing 
and on the sensation of your lungs expanding and contracting. Every time you exhale, feel your 
physical body relax to a deeper level. 



Relaxing the Breathing 


Once you have relaxed your mind, you will be able to relax your breathing. Your breathing is 
closely related to your thoughts, and especially to emotional feelings. Once the mind is calm and 
peaceful, breathing can be independent of thought. The first step toward relaxing your breathing 
involves neutralizing the effect your emotions have on the breathing process. Normally, once you 
have relaxed your mind, you have reached this stage. Next, you must understand that breathing is 
caused by the physical motion of the body. For the average, untrained person, this means moving the 
chest. Since it is the muscles of the chest and the diaphragm which draw the air into your body and 
push it out, you must learn to relax all of the muscles which relate to your breathing. 

Bring your calm and concentrated mind to your chest. Take in air and push it out slowly without 
holding your breath. While you are doing this, pay attention to how the muscles of the diaphragm 
move. The more you can feel them, the more your Yi is able to lead the relaxation to a deeper level. 

When you do this breathing training, you will notice that the area around your solar plexus starts 
loosening up. When your chest is loose, you have reached the fundamental stage of relaxation. 



Relaxing the Body 


Relaxing the body is the first step in regulating your body. Only when your body is relaxed are 
you able to sense your physical body’s center, root, and balance, and reach the goal of body 
regulation. 

Relaxing the body includes relaxing the muscles, skin, marrow, and organs. Remember: only 
when you are able to relax all of these will the Qi flow smoothly and freely. Then you will be able to 
lead the Qi and feel that your body is transparent. 

Because you use your mind to control your muscles whenever you move, relaxing your muscles is 
easiest. Your mind is able to feel them. Once your mind is calm, the mind will be able to effectively 
lead the muscles into a state of relaxation. 

Relaxing the skin is the next easiest. Your skin is the interface between your body and your 
surroundings. Every time your skin feels something, the message is sent to your brain for evaluation. 
Because communication between the skin and the brain is happening all the time, it is easy for your 
Yi to reach the skin and lead it to a relaxed state. 

Relaxing the organs is the next step. In order to reach this stage, your mind must have reached a 
deeper level of calmness and peace. There are five Yin organs which are most important in Qigong 
relaxation training. These organs are: lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and spleen. Except for the lungs, 
which can be controlled by the mind directly, all the other organs must be reached or sensed 
indirectly. In order to sense the last four organs, you must first be able to feel the muscles 
surrounding them for clues about their condition. Once your mind is able to reach all of these 
muscles, your mind will be led to the organs and sense them clearly. 

There is an important point to be aware of. When you practice communication between your mind 
and organs, the Qi will be led to those organs in order for your brain to sense them. If you are not 
careful, excess Qi will be led to them and make them too Yang, which will cause problems. This is 
especially true of the heart. Your heart is very sensitive to Qi, so the Qi level must be correct. When 
you place your mind on your heart, the heart will become Yang, and the heart beat will increase. 
Therefore, when you relax an organ, you must be very careful to avoid leading your mind directly to 
it. Instead, notice the area around the organ, as well as the organ itself. Do not zero in too intensely 
on an organ, or you will upset its natural balance. Organs must function normally while you are 
relaxing them. Organs are not like your skin or muscles. They are vital and more sensitive to Qi. You 
should be able to see from this why leading the five Qi’s to their origins is considered one of the 
hardest and highest stages of Qigong practice. 

Relaxing the bone marrow is the hardest relaxation exercise. Your mind does not communicate 
directly with it as it does with the skin and muscle. Also, since there are no muscles connected to the 
marrow, you cannot use motion to sense it. The hardest discipline in Chinese Qigong is 
Marrow/Brain Washing, because your mind has such great difficulty communicating with the 
marrow. This will be discussed in a later book. 



Postures for Practicing Relaxation 


There is no specific posture which you must use for relaxation training. In fact, no matter which 
posture you use, part of your body will be tensed to support your body. For example, your legs will 
be tensed when you stand, your thighs are pressed when you sit down, your back is pushed down by 
your body’s weight when you lie down. Obviously, there is no relaxation posture which is absolutely 
good for the entire body. The prerequisite to relaxing your mind and body is feeling comfortable and 
natural. Your body should be centered and balanced. You also need to consider how the environment 
might affect you. Is it too noisy, or is the surface you are lying or sitting on too hard? For the 
beginner, we suggest that you lie on your back. When you are lying down, you don’t have to pay 
attention to your root, center, and balance, so it is easier for you to regulate your mind. Lying down 
for relaxation practice also has a disadvantage. When you lie down, your back muscles are pressed 
down by your weight, which restricts their ability to loosen up. 

Once you are familiar with the relaxation exercises, you should also learn to relax while you are 
sitting. This is harder than lying down because part of your mind must be kept in your body’s center 
to prevent your falling over. Sitting relaxation, however, is better for your trunk and upper limbs. 
You can see that the different postures have their advantages and disadvantages. Remember, it does 
not matter which posture you are using, as long as you feel comfortable and natural. 



Suggested Procedures for Relaxation Exercises 


There are many methods of relaxing. Once you have some experience with one method, you may 
find another exercise or set of exercises which are easier and better for you. Here, we will only 
suggest some procedures which will help you start out. We recommend that the beginner start lying 
down. 

Bring Your Mind to Your Shen. Relax your body with a few comfortably deep breaths. Normally, 
most people can do this easily. Next, bring your mind from outside of your body to your Upper Dan 
Tian, where your Shen resides. When your mind is on the Shen, your spirit will be centered, and 
thoughts generated by outside distractions will start to disappear. Your mind will now be able to 
concentrate on feeling your body. 

Relax Your Mind. When you concentrate your attention on relaxing your mind, you will find that 
your mind stays tense. You have to relax it by moving the focus of your consciousness away from 
your mind. One of the best ways is to pay attention to your breathing. 

Feel and Sense your Middle Dan Tian. Move your mind to the Middle Dan Tian (Solar Plexus), 
which is the center and residence of your Fire Qi. Feel the physical location of your solar plexus, and 
sense the Qi there. Remember, Fire Qi stimulates the emotional mind and emotional feelings, and 
increases tension. When you move your mind to the Middle Dan Tian, you will be able to feel what 
is happening with your Fire Qi. 

Use Breathing to Cool Down the Fire Qi. In Qigong, the lungs are considered Metal and the heart 
is considered Fire. Metal is able to absorb heat and cool down Fire. Whenever you have heartburn or 
an uneasy feeling in your chest, use deep breathing to cool down the Fire and release the pressure. 
Similarly, when you want to relax, you must first cool down your chest Fire and relax the chest area. 
Smooth, relaxed deep breathing will enable you to extend your relaxation from your chest to your 
entire body. When you reach this stage, you have completed the first step of relaxation. 

Use Your Mind to Direct the Body. Once you have relaxed your body at the surface level, you 
must enter a deeper level of relaxation. At this level, use your concentrated mind to feel and relax 
deep into the muscles and tendons. This stage allows you to open the Qi channels by relaxing any 
muscular tension which is constricting the channels and restricting Qi circulation. When you do this, 
your breathing is deeper, your pulse is slower, and your meditating mind reaches a deeper level. 

When you relax your whole body, start at the toes. Concentrate your mind on each of your toes 
and relax them. Next, move your mind up to your feet, ankles, calves, thighs, and hips. You may feel 
your lower body disappear, and feel as if you were floating. Keeping your lower body relaxed, move 
your mind to your fingers and repeat the same procedure — from your fingers to the hands, wrists, 
forearms, elbows, and shoulders. Then concentrate your mind on your stomach, and move up to the 
chest and neck. Finally, focus on your head. After your head is relaxed, keep your mind relaxed 
while concentrating on feeling your whole body. When you have reached this level, you will be able 
to feel your muscles, tendons, and skin. The more you practice, the better your mind will be able to 
concentrate on the local areas and relax them. When you relax your body starting from the 
extremities, you are also relaxing and clearing the Qi channels. To relax the channels, you have to 
relax the ends first, then work your way down their length. If you start in the middle, you will relax 
in one direction, but the other side will be tense. 

If you are able to practice twice a day, the Qi in your body will be able to rebalance itself easily 
and naturally. Your mind will be peaceful and you will be able to maintain your health. The best 
time to practice is two hours after lunch, when the Fire Qi is strongest at your Middle Dan Tian. If 
you can practice your relaxation at this time, you will be able to cool down and help your body. The 



second best time is just before you sleep. After a long day of physical and mental exercise, you will 
be able to relax your mind as well as your body. This will enable you to have a more relaxing sleep, 
with fewer dreams, and you will be able to effectively recover from fatigue. If you would like to 
know more about the relaxation practice at this level, refer to the audio tape: Self Relaxation — A 
Chinese Qigong Meditation, available from YMAA Publication Center. 

Relaxing Your Organs. If you are a Qigong practitioner, you will want to relax all the way into 
your organs in order to regulate the Qi in them. Generally, this stage is much harder for the person 
who does not know the theory and does not have the above relaxation training. In order for your 
mind to reach your organs, you will need to reach a much deeper level of meditation. The five Yin 
organs are considered the most vital. Generally speaking, to feel or sense the lungs is the easiest, 
followed by the heart, kidneys, liver, and spleen. When you are able to feel and sense these organs, 
you will be able to evaluate their status, and use your mind to regulate their Qi. 

Relaxing Your Marrow. After you have reached the level of organ relaxation, you have come to 
the third level of relaxation. This final stage involves relaxing your body deep into the marrow. Your 
marrow manufactures your blood cells. The marrow is alive, and must have a constant supply of Qi 
to keep functioning. Your conscious mind does not normally sense the Qi in the marrow and control 
it. In Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong training, however, you want Qi to be supplied to the marrow 
with maximum efficiency so that the blood will be kept fresh and healthy. In order to do this, your 
mind must be able to reach the marrow. Again, you may refer to the book: Muscle/Tendon Changing 
and Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Kung, available from YMAA Publication Center. 

You can see that relaxation is not as simple as many people think. Your final goal is to relax until 
you feel transparent. Only when you are at this stage will your Qi be able to flow smoothly and 
fluidly to every cell of your body. 



8-4. Rooting, Centering, and Balancing 


When you regulate your body, in addition to relaxing it you are also seeking its root, center, and 
balance. In order for you to feel natural, comfortable, and stable you must first have a firm root. The 
way of rooting for standing and sitting are different. When you stand, you build your root from your 
feet into the ground, while when you are sitting on a chair you build your root from your hips down 
to the ground. In every posture or movement, there is a root for that form or movement. Rooting 
includes rooting not just the body, but also the form and movement. Every posture or form has its 
unique way of rooting which is determined by its purpose or principle. 

For example, in certain Qigong exercises you want to lead the Qi to your palms. In order to do 
this, you must image that you are pushing an object forward while keeping your muscles relaxed. 2 In 
this exercise, your elbows must be down to build the sense of root for the push. If you raise the 
elbows, you lose the sense of intention of the movement because the push would be ineffective if you 
were pushing something for real. Since the intention or purpose of the movement is its reason for 
being, you now have a purposeless movement, and you have no reason to lead Qi in any particular 
way. In this case, the elbow is the first root of the movement. This root must be connected to the root 
of your body which is in the ground in order to be firm and complete. Therefore, the root of the arms 
is built upon the body’s root. In order to connect these two roots strongly, your chest must be arched 
in to form the support (Figure 8-1). Furthermore, your stance cannot be straight up. When you push a 
heavy object, you have to lean slightly forward. When you are standing up, you will not have a 
pushing root. You must have a bow-and-arrow stance in order to push backward and generate 
forward pushing power. When you have all of these, you can say that you have a firm root for 
pushing. In order to push with maximum power, you must also seek your center and balance. When 
you have your root, center, and balance, your posture will be natural and comfortable, and your Yi 
will be strong enough to direct the pushing. 


Figure 8-1. Feeling Qi on the palms by imagining pushing forward 



You can see that in order for a posture to have a root, you must first understand the purpose of the 
posture. When you understand the Why of the posture, your mind will not wander and you will know 
what you are looking for. Understanding the purpose and the theory is the root of everything. It firms 
your mind so that it can lead your body to a posture which offers you the best root, center, and 
balance. Naturally, in order to reach this stage, you must first have a relaxed mind and body. 

Before you can develop your root, you must first relax and let your body settle. As you relax, the 
tension in the various parts of your body will dissolve, and you will find a comfortable way to stand. 
You will stop fighting the ground to keep your body up, and will learn to rely on your body’s 
structure for support. This lets the muscles relax even more. Since your body isn’t struggling to stand 
up, your Yi won’t be pushing upward, and your body, mind, and Qi will all be able to sink. If you let 
dirty water sit quietly, the impurities will gradually settle down to the bottom, leaving the water 
above it clear. In the same way, if you relax your body and let it settle, your Qi will sink to your Dan 
Tian and the Bubbling Wells (Yongquan cavity, K-l,& A )in your feet, clearing your mind. Then you 
can begin to develop your root. 

After you have gained your root, you must learn how to keep your center. The center includes the 
mind’s center and the physical body’s center. You must have your mind centered first in order to 
lead your body to its center. Naturally, in order to have your mind centered, you must first relax your 
body, which allows your mind to feel and sense every part of it. Although root is important to the 
process of locating your center, many times you are able to find your center without even having a 


root. For example, when you ski you do not have a root but you must have your center in order to 
balance. In stationary Qigong practice, however, having a root will help you to locate your center 
more easily; and when you have the center, the root will be even firmer. Both of them are related and 
cannot really be separated. 

A stable center will make your Qi develop evenly and uniformly. If you lose this center, your Qi 
will not be led evenly. In order to keep your body centered, you must first center your Yi, and then 
match your body to it. It is very important for you to understand that very often your mind’s center 
and your body’s center do not match each other. For example, while standing in a bow and arrow 
stance you may lean slightly forward so that the center of your body is over your front foot. If you 
keep your mental center back further, you can still keep you body centered, even though someone 
looking at you would think that you are off balance to your front. If, however, your mental center is 
also off and moves forward, you will lose your center and balance. Naturally, if your physical center 
is off too much, you will not be able to use your mental center to balance it. The closer together your 
mental and physical centers stay, the more stable you will be. In Qigong practice, your mental and 
physical centers are keys which enable you to lead your Qi beyond your body. 

Finally, after you have a relaxed body, firm root, and center, you will be able to balance your Yi, 
Qi, and physical body. Balance is the product of rooting and centering. Regardless of which aspect of 
balance you are dealing with, you must balance your Yi first. Only then can you balance your Qi and 
your physical body. If your Yi is balanced, it can help you to make accurate judgments, and to 
correct the path of the Qi flow. When your Yi is balanced, your Qi will be led evenly. Remember the 
trick to expanding your Qi is to expand it evenly. It is like when you push a car, you need a 
backward force in order to generate forward power. 

Normally, a person’s Qi is not balanced in both sides of the body simply because he uses one hand 
more than the other. For example, if you are right handed, your mind can lead the Qi to the right 
hand much more easily than it can to the left hand. You will find sometimes that one side of the sole 
of your shoe is flatter than the other. As a Qigong practitioner, you are looking for your mental 
center in this unbalanced situation. In order to do this, your mind must be very clear and able to 
judge the environment and your body’s condition. For example, if you place your right arm into 
warm water and your left arm into cold water for three minutes, and then place both hands 
immediately into another container of water, one hand will feel warmer than the other. This kind of 
outside influence scatters your Yi and causes it to lose its center. In Qigong practice, therefore, you 
are looking for the practice which develops the Yi and body evenly. For example, practice the same 
form with both hands the same number of times. 

In order to help you analyze rooting, centering, and balancing, we will discuss two of the most 
common stances. Once you understand these two, you should be able to use the same method to 
analyze any other stance. 



Horse Stance (Ma Bu, ft f J 


The horse stance is the most common stance used by Qigong practitioners and martial artists. The 
horse stance is used by martial artists to develop their root, center, and balance, as well as to 
strengthen the legs. For the non-martial Qigong practitioner, however, although rooting is important, 
it is not as critical as it is for marital artists who need a strong root for fighting. In Qigong, rooting is 
helpful in finding your center and balance, which in turn lets you feel relaxed, natural, and 
comfortable. Since the martial arts horse stance is harder and is the basis for the non-martial horse 
stance, we will discuss it here. Once you understand it thoroughly, you may adjust it to fit your 
situation. 

There are many ways to stand in the horse stance. For example, the width of the feet in the horse 
stance used by Southern Chinese martial styles is narrower than the one used in Northern styles 
(Figure 8-2). This is because the Southern styles emphasize short range fighting, and the wider 
stance is more open and dangerous in short range techniques. The situation is different for the 
Northern styles. Because they emphasize long range techniques, a larger posture is more 
advantageous, so they use a much wider horse stance (Figure 8-3). You should understand that 
regardless of which style of horse stance is trained, the purpose, training principles, and theory 
remain the same. 

In the horse stance, both legs share your weight equally. In Qigong training, the width of the 
stance depends on your feeling. If you are standing too narrow or too wide, you will have a 
uncomfortable feeling. You should try different widths to see which one is most comfortable and 
natural for you. Remember, when you feel comfortable and natural you will be able to relax and find 
your center and balance more easily. 

If you are training a martial arts horse stance, how high you stand depends upon the style. For 
Qigong practice, how high you stand depends on your feeling. For example, if you stand lower, your 
leg muscles will be more tensed and it will be harder for the Qi to flow to the bottom of your feet. If 
you stand too high, your center of gravity is higher and your root will be shallower and less stable. 
However, since the leg muscles are more relaxed, you can lead the Qi to the bottom of your feet 
more easily. In Chinese internal martial styles such as Taijiquan, when a beginner’s Qi cannot be 
efficiently directed to the bottom of the feet, the stance is lower. In this case, the beginner is able to 
lower his physical center of gravity to increase his root. When, however, a Taiji practitioner has 
reached a high level, he will stand higher and keep the leg muscles relaxed, allowing his Qi to reach 
the bottom of his feet. 

In Qigong horse stance training, the best way to build a firm root is to begin with a height at which 
you get the strongest feeling of pushing upward. In other words, try out different heights, and at each 
one pretend you are pushing a heavy object upward. At one particular height you will feel that you 
can push upward most strongly. At this height your Yi can exert the strongest push upward, and it 
can therefore also exert the strongest push downward. It is this downward pushing of your Yi that 
builds your root. If you keep practicing, you will eventually start to feel that your Yi is leading your 
Qi into the ground, and that your root is starting to grow. 


Figure 8-2. Horse Stance of the southern martial styles 




Figure 8-3. Horse Stance of the northern martial styles 



To root your body, you must imitate a tree and grow an invisible root beneath your feet. Naturally, 
your Yi must grow first, because it is the Yi which leads the Qi. Your Yi must be able to 
communicate with the ground in order to lead your Qi beyond your feet and build the root. This 
means your Yi must feel or sense the ground, noticing whether it is soft or hard, how flat the ground 
is, how slippery it is. Try different ways of standing, shift your weight on your feet, and notice the 
ground. With practice your Yi will be able to sink further into the ground, and you will develop a 
strong root. The more you practice, the deeper the root will grow (Figure 8-4). After practicing for a 
period of time, you will start to stand higher in order to relax the leg muscles more. In turn, this will 
help you to lead the Qi to the bottom more effectively. The Bubbling Well cavity is the gate which 
enables your Qi to communicate with the ground. 

There is one more thing to remember when you build your root. A tree’s root is very strong 
because it has many branches and spreads out far to the sides. You must do the same thing, and 
spread your roots to the sides as well as downward. 

Once you have built your root, you can consider being centered and balanced. You can be 
centered physically and you can be centered mentally. When you are centered physically, a vertical 
line from your center of mass falls between your feet, so your root comfortably supports your 
weight. Being centered mentally is a matter of feeling. If you are mentally centered, you can be 
physically balanced even when you are not physically centered. An example of this is the person 


who cannot be pushed over even when he is standing in a very awkward position. When you start 
practicing, stand so that you are physically centered and have a good root, and be centered mentally 
in the same way. After a while, change your stance slightly so that you physical stance becomes less 
centered and less stable, and practice maintaining your balance and stability mentally. Remember, if 
you are not centered physically or mentally, you will not be able to maintain your balance. 


Figure 8-4. Horse Stance with the root growing like a tree’s 



The degree to which your physical body’s center can be separated from the mind’s center without 
losing balance depends on how you stand. Generally speaking, it depends on how wide you build 
your root. For example, if you stand low with a firm root, your body’s center can be moved in the 
space between the two roots built by your feet (Figure 8-5). If you stand higher, the width is 


narrower, and the circle of movement you can allow your body will be smaller (Figure 8-6). 

A highly skilled martial artist can defend himself even in a high, narrow stance. His range of 
movement is limited, but if he has strong Qi he will be able to build a strong root, and if his 
technique is good enough, he will be able to fight effectively. Remember, in order to reach this stage, 
you must start with a low, wide stance, and gradually narrow and raise it. The Chinese have a 
proverb: “Yan Gao Shou Di” which means “Eyes are high and the hands are low.” This 

scoffs at those people who keep dreaming of high levels of mastery while they are still at a very low 
level. 


Figure 8-5. In a low stance, your body is stable within this area 



Figure 8-6. In a high stance, your body is stable within this area 



The final goal in developing your root is to make your stance like a mountain. Your stance must 
be wide and firm, and you must also train your Qi to cover your body and spread out as it goes down 
to the ground. Your mental image of yourself and your Qi should be shaped like a mountain or cone 
— narrow on top and wide on the bottom (Figure 8-7). Once you can do this, it will be extremely 
difficult for anyone to push you over or make you lose your balance. 

Bow and Arrow Stance or Mountain Climbing Stance (Gong Jian Bu or Deng Shan Bu, 

The bow and arrow stance is another common stance used by both martial artists and non-martial 
artists. Generally speaking, this stance is harder than the horse stance. Because the weight of the 
body is not divided evenly, therefore, the mind is also uneven. The bow and arrow stance is 
commonly used in moving and in exerting force forward. Normally, the front leg is used to stabilize 
the body and the rear leg is used to generate the forward power. 

In this stance, as your rear leg pushes your body forward, you must keep your body straight up in 
order to keep your center and balance. Sometimes the body can lean forward slightly; in which case, 
however, you must keep your mind at the original center or you will easily lose your balance. 

Figure 8-7. In the Horse Stance, stand like a mountain 



In this stance, the trick to building the root lies in keeping the center and balance just as you did in 
the horse stance. Your root must be firm, deep, and wide. Again, your body must be low so you can 
build a foundation like a mountain (Figure 8-8). Finally, your mental and physical centers must 
actively adjust with each other to keep the body steady. 

Once you have built your root and stability, there is a very common exercise you can do to test and 
strengthen them. You and your partner face each other in a bow and arrow stance. Then clasp your 
leading arms, and try to unbalance each other (Figure 8-9). This practice will help you to build your 
root, to coordinate your mental and physical centers, to build your own mountain, and finally to 
destroy the root of your partner. If you continue this practice you will find that, in order to win, you 
must stand low. Your body must be very soft to keep your partner from finding your center and root. 
When your body is tense, he can locate your center easily and destroy your balance. In addition, you 
must also learn how to feel and sense your partner’s center. Once your mind and power are able to 
reach his center, you will be able to dislodge his root. 


Figure 8-8. In the Bow and Arrow Stance, stand like a mountain 



Figure 8-9. Rooting and balance competition 




References 


1 


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2 The verb image as used here means to mentally create something that you treat as if it were real. If 
you image that your are pushing something heavy, you have to adjust your posture exactly as if you 
were in fact pushing something heavy. You must feel its weight and resistance as you exert force 
against it, and realize the force and counter force in your legs. If you mentally treat your actions as 
real, your body will too, and the Qi will automatically move appropriately for those actions. If you 
only “pretend” or “imaging” that you are pushing something heavy, your mind and body will not 
treat your actions as real, and the Qi will not move strongly or clearly. 


CHAPTER 9 


Regulating the Breath (Tiao Xi) A 



9-1. Breathing and Health 


Right after your birth, you started to rely on the two major sources of Essence to supply your body’s 
needs. Once these two Essences, of food and air, are absorbed into your body, they are converted 
into Qi. The Qi obtained from food is called “Shi Qi” (food Qi, - f &)iwhile the Qi obtained from air 
is called “Kong Qi”($ &)-(The Chinese call air “Kong Qi.”) The Qi from these two sources is called 
Post-birth Qi or Fire Qi. Although your body needs Fire Qi, if it is of a poor quality it will cause your 
body to degenerate. In order to have good health and a long life, you must be serious about the 
quality of these two sources. The search for the right kinds of food and the correct quality of air has 
been an important part of Qigong practice. In this chapter we will discuss air Qi and how we benefit 
from practicing methods of regulating the breath. 

In order to know how to regulate your breath, you must first know how you take in and expel air 
during inhalation and exhalation. You must understand that your lungs themselves cannot bring in 
and push out air. In order for the air to reach the lungs and then be pushed out, the muscles around 
the lungs and the diaphragm must expand and contract, sucking the air into and pushing it out of the 
chest cavity. When this process is going on, the oxygen will mix with the blood in the lung cells, and 
the blood will release the carbon dioxide it carries. When the diaphragm moves up and down during 
respiration, it massages the internal organs and increases the Qi circulation. 

Once the oxygen is mixed with the blood, it is carried to every cell of the body to keep them 
functioning. Normally, when there is a shortage of oxygen, your brain will sense it first. According 
to experiments, the oxygen required for your brain cells is many times more than that which is 
required for muscle cells. Whenever the oxygen is insufficient, you feel dizzy, heavy, and cannot 
think clearly. 

Normally after a baby is born, it retains the habit of breathing from the lower abdomen. The 
breathing is deep. Since a child takes in plenty of oxygen, its mind is usually clearer than an adult’s. 
When a person reaches 30, his breathing becomes shallower and generally takes place around the 
stomach rather than the lower abdomen. At this age, a person still has enough oxygen to supply 
body, and the diaphragm still moves up and down actively. This movement maintains health. When 
he is older, the breath becomes progressively shallower as the person relies on moving his chest to 
breath. Now the person starts losing his memory, his thinking ability, and his mental clarity. Because 
of the shallowness of the breathing, the diaphragm does not move up and down actively any more, 
and it does not massage the internal organs. The Qi becomes stagnant, and the organs degenerate. 
Also, the degeneration of the cells of the body is speeded by the shortage of oxygen. 

You can see how important breathing is to your health. In Qigong practice, regulating the 
breathing is the most important training. The first step toward maintaining your health involves 
increasing your oxygen supply. You must resume breathing deep down in your abdomen like a baby 
does. This exercise is called “Fan Tong” which means “Back to Childhood.” Once you have a 
sufficient supply of oxygen, you are able to relax, clear your mind, and circulate the Qi. 



9-2. Regulating the Breath 


It is important to learn how to regulate your breath so that you can obtain enough Essence from 
the air, and so that you can learn how to prevent the air Qi from overstimulating your body and 
making it too Yang. You need to be concerned with the quality of the air you breathe, and you need 
to learn the different methods of breathing which are used to achieve different goals. In the first stage 
of regulating your breath, it becomes calm, smooth, and peaceful. Once you have reached this point, 
the next step is to make your breathing deep, slender, long, and soft. This is the prerequisite for 
successful Qigong practice. 

In order to make your breathing calm, smooth, and peaceful, you must first regulate your mind. 
Remember, your mind is the headquarters of your whole being. When your mind is not steady and 
calm, your emotions will be agitated. Your emotions are closely related to your breath. For example, 
when you are angry or excited, you exhale more strongly than you inhale. When you are sad, you 
inhale more strongly than you exhale. When your mind is peaceful and calm, your inhalation and 
exhalation are relatively equal. 

Therefore, in Qigong breathing training, you first have to regulate your emotional mind. This, in 
turn, will allow you to regulate your breathing, which in turn will allow you to regulate your mind 
more deeply. Again, the calmer and deeper your mind is, the calmer and deeper your breathing will 
be. After you have trained for a long time, your breathing will be full and slender, and your mind 
will be very clear. It is said: “Xin Xi Xiang Yi” which means “Heart (mind) and breathing 

(are) mutually dependent.” When you reach this meditative state, your heartbeat slows down, and 
your mind is very clear: you have entered the sphere of real meditation. 

Normally, when your emotional mind is agitated, not only is your breath affected, but your Qi 
circulation as well. Understand that your emotions are related to your internal organs. For example, 
anger can make your liver Qi supply lose its balance. Happiness can make your heart too Yang. Fear 
can make the Qi supply to your bladder deficient. Obviously, in order to regulate the Qi in your 
body, you must first regulate your emotional mind. Regulating your breathing will help you to do 
this. 

The other side of the coin is that you can also use your breathing to control your Yi. When your 
breathing is uniform, it is like you are hypnotizing your Yi, which helps to calm it. But there is 
another way in which you can use breathing to control your Yi. Whenever you take in poor food or 
air you tend to get heartburn from the over-accumulation of Fire Qi, which normally resides in the 
Middle Dan Tian (solar plexus), stirring up your emotions and disturbing your wisdom mind (Yi). 
As you regulate your breath to dissipate the heart fire and calm your emotional mind (Xin), you will 
also be calming your Yi. 

We have established that Yi and breathing are interdependent. Deep and calm breathing relaxes 
you, keeps your mind clear, and fills your lungs with plenty of air so that your brain and entire body 
have an adequate supply of oxygen. In addition, deep and complete breathing enables the diaphragm 
to move up and down, which massages and stimulates the internal organs. For this reason, deep 
breathing exercises are also called “internal organ exercises.” 

Finally, one additional point: regulating the breath is not only the key to leading the mind into a 
deeper and calmer stage of meditation, it is also the key to leading the Qi to the extremities and the 
skin. When the Qi is led to the limbs, it can open up the channels in the limbs and complete the 
Grand Circulation (Da Zhou Tian,^.ffl A), as well as increase the efficiency of the muscles to the 
higher power state needed by a martial artist. When the Qi is effectively led to the skin, you are able 
to strengthen and enlarge your Guardian Qi shield, which can keep you from sickness caused by 



outside negative influences. 

Next we will discuss the thirteen methods of regulating the breath used in Qigong, starting with 
the most basic and ending with the most advanced. However, since the more advanced methods are 
difficult, both in understanding and practice, it is impossible to discuss them thoroughly here. A 
more detailed discussion of these advanced techniques will be presented in later volumes. 



9-3. The Different Methods of Qigong Breathing 


In the last four thousand years of study and experimentation, many ways have been developed to 
regulate the breath. Each technique has its unique theory and goal. These techniques are called “Tiao 
Xi” ($&), which means “to regulate the breathing.” It is also often called “Tu Na” (’i'H ) which 
means “To utter and to take in.” The latter name is used especially when the nose is used to inhale 
and the mouth is used to exhale. Since there are many levels of Qigong practice, the methods of 
regulating the breath are classified according to their difficulty, from the easiest to the most difficult. 
Here we will list and explain 13 breathing techniques which are used in Chinese Qigong. 



Natural Breathing 


Frequently people who are just starting to practice Qigong will start right away to use advanced 
breathing methods. However, the best way to grasp the key to the deeper breathing methods is to 
start by regulating the method of breathing you use every day. 

You should understand that your natural breathing is constantly affected by your thoughts and 
emotions. For example, when you feel tense or excited, you breathe faster, and when you feel sad 
and depressed, you breathe slower. The lengths of inhalation and exhalation are also affected by your 
emotions. When you are happy, your exhalation is longer than your inhalation, but when you are sad, 
your inhalation is longer. So you can see that although you have always regulated your breathing, 
you have usually done it unconsciously. 

People breathe in different ways. Little children and some adults still have the habit of abdominal 
breathing. Most middle-aged people breathe with their stomachs, and older people breathe with their 
chests. Regardless of how you breathe, the purpose is to bring oxygen into the lungs and expel 
carbon dioxide. Though we talk of abdominal breathing, in fact the air does not, or at least should 
not, go any lower. If air goes into your digestive system, it will cause pain, so it should be expelled 
immediately. 

To regulate your natural breathing means to regulate your current pattern of breathing. You should 
not intentionally change your breathing habits while doing this training, because you would put your 
Yi on the new method and be distracted away from what you normally do and experience. 
Regulating the natural breath means concentrating your mind to understand your natural way of 
breathing, to feel the way you breathe, and finally to guide your breathing to a more relaxed and 
smoother stage. 

In order to regulate your natural breathing, you must first be natural and comfortable, and your 
mind must get rid of emotional disturbances. Then, learn how to feel the muscles which are related 
to your breathing. Finally, your mind leads the muscles into a more relaxed stage, and you can feel 
or sense the Qi flow. 

Choose any posture you like, as long as you feel comfortable and natural. Breathe through your 
nose. Do not actively control the breath, but simply pay attention to it and feel it. Breathe softly and 
gently. The final goal of the process involves training your natural breathing to be: 1. Calm (Jing,-fr), 
2. Slender (Xi,£s), 3. Deep (Shen,^), 4. Continuous (You,®), and 5. Uniform (Yun,-J ). We will 
discuss these in more detail at the end of this chapter. After a while you will reach the stage of 
regulating your breathing without conscious effort, when your breathing will enter a new stage. Most 
important of all, however, is the experience you gain through practicing the technique of regulating 
your natural breathing. This experience becomes the seed which produces the deeper understanding 
you need to fathom the more difficult breathing techniques. 



Chest Breathing 


Chest breathing, or breathing by expanding and contracting the rib cage, is one of the main 
methods of regulating the breath, especially in the external martial Qigong styles, as well as deep sea 
diving. 

Chest breathing increases the capacity of your lungs, and therefore increases the amount of oxygen 
and carbon dioxide exchanged. It also allows you to hold your breath longer. External martial artists 
use this method to increase the amount of Air Qi they take in, which is used to support their muscular 
exercise. Weight lifters and people who do heavy labor also do this. 

When you practice chest breathing, keep your mind and chest muscles relaxed. If they are tense, 
you will use more oxygen. In the training used by the external martial arts such as Tiger style, when 
you exhale you lead the Air Qi to your limbs. The more you practice, the more efficiently you will 
be able to do this. Although when you practice chest breathing your abdomen moves up and down 
slightly, you should understand that external martial artists generally do not pay attention to the 
abdomen until they get older. Once they pass 30, they will start to practice breathing lower and lower 
in the abdomen. 

Practitioners of the internal martial arts do not consider increasing the lung capacity as important 
as the external stylists. Internal practitioners believe that the more you increase lung capacity, the 
more Fire Qi (Air Qi) you will take in, which may scatter and confuse the mind and increase the Fire 
in the body. For an internal Qigong practitioner, regulating the breath means breathing lower down 
in the abdomen in the Dan Tian, instead of emphasizing the chest. 

Before we finish discussing chest breathing, I would like to point out that your lungs behave like a 
rubber band: the more you stretch them the larger they will become. However, after you have 
practiced chest breathing for a long time, or even if you have done a good deal of heavy exercise, 
you should not stop exercising completely and suddenly. Once your lungs have expanded to a larger 
size, a sudden stop may cause part of your lungs to collapse, causing problems such as pneumonia. If 
you want to stop practice, you should cut down the exercises gradually and allow your lungs to 
adjust themselves. In external martial Qigong society, we often see that when a practitioner gets old 
and loses the ability to do the same exercises, he loses the ability to expand his lungs, and his lung 
capacity lessens. Consequently, the muscles which used to obtain a large amount of oxygen 
degenerate faster than normal. This is called “San Gong” (energy dispersion, J ^). 

You can see that if you are not an external martial artist, you have no need to form the habit of 
chest breathing. Still, there are advantages to doing chest breathing from time to time. First, you will 
enliven the cells in the parts of the lungs which are not commonly used, and keep them from 
degenerating. Second, heavy chest breathing increases the supply of Air Qi, so that you can send a 
lot of Qi to the skin. This helps to open the tiny Qi channels in the skin and strengthens your 
Guardian Qi. 



Normal Abdominal Breathing 


Abdominal Breath is the key to the Nei Dan (internal elixir) Qigong exercises. In abdominal, or 
Dan Tian breathing, there are two common ways of breathing: Normal Abdominal Breathing (Zheng 
Fu Hu Xi,^- ^ and Reverse Abdominal Breathing (Fan Fu Hu Xi,-®-®^^.). We will discuss 
Normal Abdominal Breathing first. 

Normal abdominal breathing is the next step after chest breathing for the Qigong beginner. 
Abdominal breathing is a deep breathing exercises, but it is not like the breathing you do in the chest. 
Correct deep breathing involves slow, deep breaths that seem to go all the way down to your Dan 
Tian. It requires that your mind be relaxed and concentrated. This kind of breathing is called “Fan 
Tong” (i£±) breath, or “Back to Childhood” breathing, because it is deep, soft, and natural like a 
child’s. It is the first step in Nei Dan Qigong training. 

In abdominal breathing the lungs are expanded and contracted by the muscles of the diaphragm 
and abdomen, rather than the chest muscles. There are several benefits to Normal Abdominal 
Breathing: 

1. Internal Organ Massage. In abdominal breathing, the diaphragm and the muscles of 
the lower abdomen are constantly moving back and forth. This movement 
massages the internal organs, increasing the circulation of Qi and blood in and 
around them. This keeps them healthy and strong, avoiding the Qi stagnation which 
is one of the major causes of illness. 

2. Invigorating the Abdominal Muscles. Because babies naturally do deep abdominal 
breathing, their abdominal muscles are constantly moving. Not only does this keep 
the Qi circulating around the organs, but it also loosens up the Qi channels which 
connect the front of the body to the legs and to the back. Usually, once you have 
given up your abdominal breathing, the Qi flow to the Governing Vessel in your 
back becomes sluggish. This weakens the ability of the Governing Vessel to 
regulate Qi throughout the body, and allows a number of problems to arise. 

3. Increasing the Efficiency of the Qi Flow from the Kidneys to the Lower Dan Tian. 

One objective of Qigong practice is the strengthening of your Water Qi (Original 
Qi), which is converted from the Essence residing in your kidneys. As we have 
discussed, the Lower Dan Tian is the residence of this Qi. The muscular movement 
of the muscles in abdominal breathing help to lead Qi from the kidneys to your 
Lower Dan Tian and keep it there. The more abdominal breathing you do, the more 
Qi is led, and the more efficiently the Essence is converted. Abdominal breathing 
acts like an engine which is able to convert fuel into energy more efficiently than 
normal engines can, and thereby conserve more fuel. 

4. To Increase the Water Qi. Once you are able to increase the efficiency of the 
Essence-Qi conversion process, you will be able to create more Water Qi (Original 
Qi). Strong Water Qi is the key to successful Qigong practice. Water Qi is able to 
calm down your mind, strengthen your will, and firm your spirit. Since Water Qi is 
the major source of coolant for your Fire Qi, you are able to maintain your health 
and lengthen your life. 

Normal Abdominal Breathing is an important part of Buddhist Qigong training, 
and so it is often called “Buddhist Breathing.” To practice it, you must first use 
your Yi to control the muscles in your abdomen. When you inhale, intentionally 
expand your abdomen, and when you exhale, let it contract. In addition, when you 



inhale you should gently push out your Huiyin (Co-1) cavity or anus, and when you 
exhale, hold it up. If you practice for ten minutes three times a day, in a month you 
should be able to resume the abdominal breathing you did as a baby. 

There is a very important rule when you practice: do not hold your breath. Your 
breath must be smooth, natural, continuous, and comfortable. Abdominal deep 
breathing is done in the lower abdomen, so you should not be expanding and 
contracting your chest. Instead, you should feel like you are drawing the air deep 
into your lower abdomen. 



Reverse Abdominal Breathing 


The Reverse Abdominal Breathing method is commonly used by Daoist Qigong practitioners, and 
so it is often called “Daoist Breathing.” Since you are moving your abdomen, you gain the same 
health benefits that you do with the Normal Abdominal Breathing. However, in Reverse Abdominal 
Breathing, when you inhale, you draw the abdomen in and hold up your Huiyin (Co-1) cavity or 
anus. When you exhale, gently push out your abdomen and Huiyin cavity or anus. There are many 
reasons for this. The major ones are: 

1. Greater Efficiency in Leading Qi to the Extremities. Whenever you exhale, you are 
expanding your Guardian Qi. When you inhale, you are conserving your Qi or even 
absorbing the surrounding Qi into your body. Experience teaches that when you 
intentionally try to expand your Qi during exhalation, it is easier to expand your 
abdominal muscles than to relax them. Try blowing up a balloon, and hold one 
hand on your abdomen. You will find that when you blow out, your abdomen 
expands rather than withdraws. Or imagine that you are pushing a car. In order to 
express your power, you have to exhale while you are pushing. If you pay attention 
to your abdomen while you are doing this, you will realize that your abdomen is 
expanding again. If you pull your stomach in when you are doing this, you will 
find that there is less power and that it feels unnatural. Now imagine that you feel 
cold, and want to absorb energy from your surroundings. You will find that your 
inhalations are longer than your exhalations, and that your abdomen withdraws 
when you inhale, rather than expands. 

Daoist Qigong practitioners have found that whenever you try to intentionally 
expand or condense your Qi, your abdomen moves opposite to the way it moves 
during normal breathing. They realized that reverse breathing is a tool and a 
strategy that you may use to lead the Qi more efficiently. You can see that the 
foremost advantage to the Daoist Reverse Abdominal Breathing is its ability to lead 
Qi to the extremities more naturally and easily than is possible with normal 
abdominal breathing. Once you have mastered the coordination of Yi, breath, and 
Qi, you will be able to lead Qi to any part of your body. 

2. For Martial Arts. The internal martial arts training of the Daoists is more advanced 
than that of the Buddhist or any other style. This is simply because the Daoists 
learned how to lead Qi to any part of the body more efficiently than any of the 
others. The key to this success is Reverse Abdominal Breathing. 

3. For More Effectively Raising the Qi in Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong. In 
Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong, Reverse Abdominal Breathing is able to raise Qi 
from legs to the brain more efficiently than the Buddhist methods. 

Although there are many advantages to Reverse Abdominal Breathing, there are also several 
disadvantages or problems which arise during training. Qigong practitioners who use Daoist 
breathing should be aware of these potential problems, especially during the early period of training. 
The major problems are: 

1. Tensing the Chest. In the reverse training, when you inhale the diaphragm moves 
down while the abdomen is withdrawing. The drawing in of the abdomen generates 
pressure upward, which makes it harder for the diaphragm to move down. This can 
cause pressure and tension below the solar plexus, which leads to Qi stagnation. 



This is especially common with people who have just started doing reverse 
breathing. 

This pressure below the solar plexus may cause problems such as stomach ache, 
diarrhea, or even chest pain. The tension and pressure may cause the heart to beat 
faster. When this happens, the body becomes positive, the mind is scattered and 
confused, you become impatient, and your will is unsteady. Enduring this does not 
advance your Qigong — it makes you sick and hinders your training. 

Many Qigong masters will encourage their students to practice Normal Abdominal 
Breathing until it feels natural and comfortable. Only then will they encourage 
Reverse Abdominal Breathing. Reverse Abdominal Breathing starts with a small 
abdominal motion in coordination with the breathing. During practice you must 
always pay attention to the Middle Burner (from the solar plexus to the navel), 
keeping this area relaxed and comfortable. After a few months of practice, you will 
find that there is a point of compromise which allows your reverse breathing to be 
deep and which also keeps the chest area relaxed. When you reach this stage, you 
will have grasped the key to Daoist breathing. After you have practiced for a long 
time, you will realize that your mind does not have to be in conscious control of 
your breathing. It happens naturally whenever you are practicing Qigong. 

The final stage of Reverse Abdominal Breathing is moving your abdominal 
muscles like a rotating ball (Figure 9-1). Because the ball is round, your breathing 
no longer causes any tension in the Middle Burner area. If you train patiently, you 
will eventually be able to use reverse breathing naturally all the time. 

Figure 9-1. Move your abdomen like a ball 




2. Holding the Breath. Because reverse breathing can cause tension and generate 
pressure in the chest area, people will sometimes unconsciously hold their breath. It 
is very important that the Qigong beginner understand that holding the breath while 
practicing is very harmful. There are some exercises in which you hold your 
breath, but unless you are doing these specific exercises, you should be careful to 
keep your breathing smooth and steady. 


Holding the Breath Breathing 


Holding the breath breathing is a training technique for when a Qigong practitioner wishes to lead 
his Qi to a specific area and hold it there. For example, martial artists, especially in the external 
styles, will generate Qi in their limbs and then hold their breath. This causes the Qi to stay in the 
limbs so that they can use it for fighting. To use a more prosaic example, when pushing a car you 
will find sometimes that after you have exerted your power you hold your breath in order to make 
the power last longer. In internal Qigong practice, practitioners will often lead Qi to a specific spot 
and then gently hold their breath. This may be done to raise the potential in a cavity in order to 
dissolve a block. When an internal martial artist has an internal injury, he will often lead Qi to the 
injury and keep it there for a short time to energize the area and speed up the healing process. When 
he does this, he must hold his breath gently while keeping his body relaxed so that he can feel and 
lead the Qi. 

You can see that holding the breath Qigong training is a higher level than those discussed above. 
Before you train this, you must have acquired mastery of the right breathing techniques and you 
must understand your body’s Qi, otherwise you will make the situation worse. You should also 
understand that if you do not know the Why and How of the practice thoroughly, holding the breath 
is very dangerous — especially in Nei Dan Qigong. When you hold your breath, the Qi will 
accumulate and stagnate. If this accumulated Qi stays in cavity or in the organs, it may affect the 
normal functioning of your body. It is very easy for a beginner to hold his Qi in his solar plexus and 
heart, which may cause damage to the heart or even death. Before starting holding the breath 
training, you must complete Small Circulation and Grand Circulation. 

In the external Qigong styles, holding the breath is not as dangerous as it is in the internal styles. 
Most of the external Qigong styles work with Qi in the limbs. Qi stagnation in the limbs is not as 
dangerous as stagnation in the body, where it can affect the internal organs. 

In Nei Dan Qigong training there are three major purposes for holding the breath: 

1. To Lead Qi to the Ends of or Even Beyond the Body. Remember that when you 
practice Nei Dan you must remain relaxed and calm, then you will be able to lead 
Qi to your skin. Normally, without special training it is very hard to move Qi to the 
hair or beyond the skin. Nei Dan Qigong practitioners found that, once they led Qi 
to their skin, if they gently held their breath they could use their mind to lead the Qi 
further. When Qi is held at the skin, the Qi potential is raised and the millions of 
tiny Qi channels are opened. This makes it easier for the Qi to reach past the skin. 

The more you train, the further beyond your body you will be able to expand it. It 
is said: “Transport Qi as though through a pearl with a hole with nine curves, not 
even the tiniest place won’t be reached.” 1 You should be able to transport Qi to 
every part of your body, from deep inside the marrow to beyond the surface of the 
skin. 

2. To Move Qi Without Coordinating It with the Breath. You know that when you 
move the abdomen in and out the Qi is led out from the Dan Tian. Beginners 
usually have to coordinate this with their breathing in order to do it effectively. 

After several years of practice you may wish to lead the Qi (or as it is commonly 
said, generate the Qi) solely with your mind without coordinating it with your 
breathing. In order to do this, hold your breath for a short time, while keeping your 
body completely relaxed. Move your abdomen in and out, leading the Qi either 
upward or downward without coordinating it with your breathing. When you reach 



this stage, it is said that you have “picked up the little herb” (Cai Xiao Yao,# 'J' #.). 
This means both that the student is starting to be able to use his Qigong (as in 
picking up something to use it), and that he is bringing Qi (the herb) up his back. 
This exercise is done in the beginning stages of Qigong training, when most 
students still need to move the abdomen in order to coordinate the movement of Qi 
with the opening and closing of the Huiyin cavity and the anus. 

3. Hibernation Training. One of the highest Qigong practices is training yourself to 
use oxygen more efficiently. Holding the breath is the most basic step of this 
training. You must train yourself to stay calm and relaxed even when your air 
supply is cut off. Your meditative mind should reach a level of sleeping meditation, 
like hibernating animals, in which your heart beat slows down. Once you have 
learned to use oxygen more efficiently, you will breathe less and less and be able to 
enter a deep sleep. We will discuss hibernation breathing later. 



Full Inhale and Exhale Breathing 


In this type of abdominal breathing, you practice inhaling and exhaling to the maximum in 
coordination with the in and out motion of your abdomen. You also try to extend the length of each 
breath. When you practice this, you make a slight sound as you inhale and exhale. This training has 
several aspects: 

1. Like the chest breathing discussed above, full inhale and exhale abdominal 
breathing increases the amount of oxygen you take in and the amount of carbon 
dioxide you put out. However, this exercise is one step ahead of chest breathing 
because the abdominal movement causes Qi to accumulate in the Dan Tian. This 
exercise also trains the abdominal muscles to expand and contract to their 
maximum. 

2. When you make a slight sound while doing full inhale and exhale breathing, you 
raise your Yi and spirit to their maximum. This can help you in leading Qi to the 
surface of the skin and condensing it in the center of your body or into the marrow. 

When you practice this type of breathing, keep your body as relaxed as possible. Your mind must 
be calm and clear, so that you can lead the Qi to the skin and condense it in the marrow. Do not make 
a habit of doing this full inhalation and exhalation all the time. Practice it only occasionally in order 
to enliven the lung cells which are not generally used. Full breathing is the key to skin breathing, 
which will be discussed next. 



Body Breathing (Ti Xi, St &) or Skin Breathing (Fu Xi, f 4) 


Body breathing or skin breathing is one of the main goals of Qigong breathing. It means that when 
you breathe, your entire body is also breathing Qi through your skin. When you exhale you move Qi 
to your skin, and your pores open; and when you inhale you draw in Qi from outside, and your pores 
close. When you are able to lead Qi to your skin when you exhale, it feels like when you expose your 
skin to the sun on a winter day. In the sun, your pores open up to absorb and expel energy more 
easily. In Qigong training, however, you use your mind to lead the Qi to the skin to energize your 
pores from inside your body. Once the pores are energized they open wide, and when you inhale, the 
Qi is led inward and the pores close. After you have practiced Qigong for a while, you will want 
your Qi to reach every cell of your body, especially the skin. Skin breathing allows you to open your 
pores so that the air can come in and remove the waste that accumulates in them. Leading Qi to the 
skin is a required step if you want your Qi to expand beyond your body. If you are able to reach this 
stage, your Qi will be able to reach anywhere your will leads it. You will have plenty of Qi, and your 
Qi circulation will be smooth everywhere. This is the key to maintaining health and lengthening your 
life. 

When you train body breathing, center yourself in your Dan Tian and imagine that your body and 
Qi are like a big beach ball. Every time you inhale, your Yi brings all of the Qi to the center and the 
ball shrinks, and when you exhale, the imaginary ball expands. If you catch the trick, you will 
discover that this Qi ball gradually expands to cover your entire body. When you breathe, this Qi ball 
also breathes (Figure 9-2). 

In the Daoist books, this body breathing or skin breathing method is considered one of the “Fu Qi 
Fa” (Yield Qi Methods,^ A A.), and is included in the Ling Bao Bi Fa (Spiritual Treasure to Reach 
the End Method, & $ *&.). In this training, start with a full inhalation and intentionally hold the air in 
your body. Then, slowly let the air out. When you practice this method, you are also beginning to do 
skin or body breathing. After you train for a long time, you will be able to extend the duration of the 
breaths and reach the goal of the “Gui Xi” (Turtle Breath,®--- .). It is believed that the turtle is able to 
live for several hundred years because it is able to exchange air directly through its skin. 



Hands and Feet Breathing 


In Chinese meditation there are five places or centers (Wu Xin,J5.^-) which are considered to be the 
gates through which the Qi in the body communicates with the Qi which surrounds you. These 
centers are the face, the two Bubbling-Wells (Yongquan, K-l,iD &) on the bottom of your feet 
(Figure 9-3), and the two Labor Palaces (Laogong, P-8,^ in the center of your palms (Figure 9-4). 
Daoist Han Xu Zu said: “The feet breathe, continuously and unbroken, existing softly.” 2 Zhuang Zi 
said: “The normal person breathes in his throat, a real person (an immortal) breathes through his 
feet.” 3 

The major purposes of these centers or gates are: 

1. To Regulate the Body’s Qi Level. For example, when the body is too positive 
because of fever, these five gates will release Qi to cool down the body. A very 
common treatment for fever in Chinese medicine is to place the feet in cold water, 
and to put alcohol in the center of the palms and blow on it. This speeds the 
lowering of the body’s Qi level and, consequently, cools down the temperature of 
the body. You know that in the summertime when you are very hot, you can cool 
down by washing your face and hands in cold water. And remember how good it 
feels to immerse your feet in a nice cold stream? 

2. To Sense Your Surroundings. Frequently you will first sense hot or cold on your 
face or the centers of your palms. This is because they are the centers or gates 
which allow you to communicate most directly with the environment. You have to 
be able to sense what is going on with the Qi around you before your body can 
adjust its Guardian Qi level to protect itself. Although the centers of the feet are 
also designed for this, these gates are not as sensitive as they used to be because of 
the use of shoes. 


Figure 9-2. Expanding the Qi ball 




Figure 9-3. The Bubbling Well cavity (Yongquan, K-l) 



Figure 9-4. The Labor Palace cavity (Laogong, P-8) 



3. To Absorb Qi from Outside of Your Body. When you feel cold, you use warm 
water to wash your face, hands, and feet. When you have a cold, placing your feet 
and hands in warm water will keep you warm because it allows you to absorb 
environmental Qi through the gates to nourish your body. In Chinese Qigong, it is 
very important to train yourself to absorb environmental Qi. When you are able to 
do this efficiently, you will be able to cut down on the amount of food and air that 
your body requires. 

Generally speaking, the face center is the most important and sensitive gate 
among the five. The gates work in both directions: you are able to sense what is 
going on outside of you, but they also reveal what is going on inside you. Your face 
is the first part of you to sense whether the air is warm or cold, and four of your 
five senses are located in your face and head. On the other hand, your face clearly 
reflects your emotions, and often indicates what you are thinking. In the centers of 
your palms are the Laogong cavities. They are the gates which lead Qi to the skin 
of the entire palm and fingers. The more Qi you have flowing through your palms, 
the more Qi flows to the skin of the whole hand, and the greater your sensitivity of 
touch. Good Qi flow in the hands is also important for manual labor, which is why 
the cavities are called “Labor Palaces” (Laogong). The cavities in the bottom of the 
feet play a similar role. The are called “Bubbling Wells” (Yongquan) because the 
Qi is continually coming out of them. 

Because these five gates are keys to adjusting the Qi in your body, Qigong 
meditators train until they are able to govern the Qi in these five areas efficiently. 
They are not only learning how to release excess Qi, but they are also learning how 
to absorb Qi from the environment. This practice will allow them to regulate their 
bodies’ Qi by using the natural, environmental Qi which is considered more pure 


and clean than the Post-birth Qi converted from the food and air Essences. Medical 
Qigong practitioners train with the two gates in the palms so that they can increase 
their effectiveness in adjusting their patients’ Qi. Martial artists train these two 
gates so that they can lead Qi to the hands more efficiently and energize the 
muscles. This also increases their ability to sense their opponent’s energy, which is 
called “skin listening” in the internal martial styles. They also train the gates in the 
feet so that they can jump high, run fast, and kick powerfully. You can see from 
these examples that governing the Qi in the five gates is a serious concern in every 
style of Chinese Qigong. 

In the previous section we discussed how the pores in the skin are millions of 
tiny Qi gates which allow you to sense the environment and exchange Qi with it. 
Unfortunately, since people have protected their bodies from the natural 
environment for so long by wearing clothes, we have lost a lot of the sensitivity 
that we used to have, and that animals still have. However, the hands and the face 
still have a lot of their sensitivity. 

In order to govern the Qi in the gates, you must learn to breathe through the 
centers of your palms and feet. Breathing here means to exchange the Qi of the 
body for the Qi of the environment through special breathing techniques. Generally 
speaking, Daoist Reverse Abdominal Breathing is the easiest way. In Daoist 
training, when you inhale you draw Qi from your limbs into the center of your 
body. While you are doing this, imagine that you are absorbing Qi from the 
environment through the gates. When you exhale, lead the Qi to the gates and 
release it into the air (Figure 9- 5). After you train for a long time, you will be able 
to feel that, when you breathe, these five gates are also breathing. You must train 
until it becomes natural and you do not have to concentrate on it to do it. 
Remember: regulate your breathing until you no longer need to do it consciously. 
Naturally, before you can breathe through these gates, you must have mastered all 
of the basic breathing techniques which we have discussed before. 


Figure 9-5. Exchanging Qi through the Qi gates 



Thread Breathing (Guan Qi, fS &) 


Thread breathing is a higher level breathing technique. Usually, before you reach this stage, you 
should already feel that your physical body has become transparent. That means you can transport 
your Qi easily and smoothly without any stagnation. Thread breathing teaches you to lead the Qi 
anywhere in your body in coordination with your breathing. There are two major purposes to this 
training: 

1. To Adjust the Qi in the Body. Very often after you practice Qigong you will find 
that the Qi in one area is higher than in another. The thread breathing method, 
however, allows you to lead the Qi to other areas very effectively, whenever you 
want. This practice can also be used to adjust abnormal Qi levels caused by 
sickness. 

2. To Raise Clean, Pure Qi and to Sink Dirty, Contaminated Qi. In Qigong training, 
in order for you to reach the higher meditative stages, you must settle or sink your 
contaminated Fire Qi and raise up your pure Water Qi. The thread breathing 
method is also used to reverse the positions of the Water Qi and Fire Qi. This 
method is called “Kan-Li” (Fire- Water, St). When the Fire Qi sinks to the Dan 
Tian, it will be controlled and settled. In Qigong training, it is also common to sink 
the Fire Qi to the bottom of the feet and to raise the Water Qi to the top of your 
head — a process which threads your entire body together. 

3. To Open the Qi Channels and the Blood Vessels. The thread breathing method can 
not only help you to complete Grand Qi Circulation, but it can also open up all of 
the other Qi branches in addition to the twelve major Qi channels. 

You can see that thread breathing training involves leading the Qi to move within your body, a 
process which is different from the skin and gates breathing methods, in which Qi is exchanged with 
the natural environment. You should understand that the first requirement is that your body must be 
relaxed completely into the third level of relaxation, which will allow the Qi to move freely. The 
second requirement is that your mind must be within your body instead outside of your body. If your 
mind is not in your body, how will you be able to sense and lead the Qi? We will discuss regulating 
the mind later. Finally, you must learn how to coordinate your breathing with your mind and Qi. 
Naturally, it is impossible for a beginner to reach this stage. It normally takes at least 10 or more 
years of correct training. 

We would like to remind you that many of the subjects discussed in this volume are presented as 
information, as a guide for understanding Qigong. It is almost impossible for anyone to grasp the 
keys simply by reading this book. As long as you remember: do not look high and walk low, sooner 
or later you will reach your goal. 



Hibernation Breathing (Dong Mian Fa, 4 W. &) 


One of the highest levels of Qigong involves disciplining your spirit to leave your body and travel 
around. Often your spirit will leave your body for long periods of time, sometimes even for several 
months. In order to keep your physical body alive without food while your spirit is gone, your 
heartbeat must slow down, your body’s use of energy must be kept to a minimum, and the energy 
must be used most efficiently. Hibernation breathing makes this possible, slowing your breathing 
rate down almost to a stop, and making it very shallow. Hibernation breathing is also trained in 
Indian Yoga. 

In order to reach the stage of hibernation breathing, you must first have a deep level of experience 
with still meditation. You need to train your body, through fasting and other techniques, to slowly 
and efficiently convert stored food Essence into Qi. Your body must be completely relaxed and 
transparent to the flow of Qi. Naturally, before you are able to freely separate your spirit from your 
physical body, you usually need to complete the training for spiritual enlightenment. According to 
the Marrow/Brain Washing documents it usually takes twelve years of proper training as a hermit or 
priest. 



Shen Breathing (Shen Xi, # &) 


In religious Qigong, Shen breathing is one of the final practices in leading the Shen to separate 
from the body. Once the mind has been regulated into a deep, calm, and peaceful level, Shen 
breathing unites the Shen with the breathing so that they correspond to each other. Because breathing 
is your strategy in guiding and governing the Qi, your Shen can govern the Qi effectively only when 
your Shen and breathing are able to work together as one. 

Naturally, you must first learn how to keep your Shen (Shou Shen,^ # .), and then how to firm it 
(Gu Shen, SI #). “Keep” here means to protect, to nourish, and to keep the Shen at its residence. 
“Firm” means to solidify, to strengthen, and to control it effectively in the Upper Dan Tian. After 
you have reached this level, you learn how to use your Yi to move your Shen away from its 
residence and finally separate from the physical body. In order to reach this final stage, you must 
first learn Shen breathing. When you start moving your Shen, it first stays close to its residence, the 
way a small child stays near its home when it first starts to walk. 

It is said in Daoist society: “Shen is the master of Qi, and it moves and stops with the Qi. 
Breathing is the secret key to the Qi’s forward and backward. The secret key must have the master 
(Shen), and the master must have the Yi. Three things (Shen, breathing, and Yi) must be used at the 
same time. Then it will be the really marvelous and tricky Gongfu of heavenly circulation. When one 
is missing, it is hard to reach the final goal .” 4 You can see that Shen is the headquarters of the Qi and 
moves together with it. The secret to controlling the movement of the Qi is the breathing. However, 
most important of all is what is behind the Shen. It is the Yi which ultimately controls the entire 
training. It is also said: “Shen and Qi move and stop together and not separately. The Yi stays at the 
center palace like a cart’s axle. Wheels (Shen and Qi) and the axle (provide) mutual support. The 
axle does not move, but lets the wheels turn by themselves .” 5 Shen and Qi move together like the 
wheels. However, these wheels are directed and controlled by the axle. This axle is your mind (Yi). 
The mind keeps to the center so that it can direct what is happening, but it should not get involved in 
the turning of the wheels. The Daoist Zi Yang Zu said: “Slowly tend the herb furnace and watch the 
(cooking) timing, but keep peace in your Shen breathing and let nature be .” 6 This sentence means 
that when you are building your Qi at the Dan Tian, take it slow and easy. Pay attention to the timing 
to notice when the herb is done. However, you must keep your Shen breathing peacefully and let it 
happen naturally. The deep meaning of this sentence is that you must train until your Shen breathing 
becomes natural and you do not need your Yi to regulate your Shen any longer. It is also said in one 
of the Daoist classics: “Breathing is hidden in the Shen and Shen is hidden in the eyes. The large Dao 
(has) no shape and no appearance .” 7 



Real Breathing (Zhen Xi, % &) 


Real breathing, or Zhen Xi, comes from regulating normal breathing. From real breathing is born 
embryonic breathing. Once you have regulated your normal breathing, you start abdominal 
breathing, whereby Qi is led from the kidneys to the Lower Dan Tian. This lays the foundation of 
real breathing. Then what is real breathing? It is said: “The inner scenery of ‘real breathing’ is (that) 
there is Qi moving up and down a few inches under the navel (Dan Tian ).” 8 

It is also said: “The ‘real breathing,’ one close one develop, on the top, it does not conflict with the 
heart; on the bottom, it does not conflict with the kidneys. The ‘real person’ (is able to) dive into the 
deep water, float swiftly (but) keep the regular center .” 9 “One close and one develop” means that the 
Qi is contracting and expanding. This saying explains that in real breathing, the Qi is generated in the 
Dan Tian and moves up and down. When it moves up it will not disturb the functioning of the heart, 
and when it moves down it will not affect the normal functioning of the kidneys. The heart and the 
kidneys are the most vital organs and must have normal Qi levels. It is therefore important when you 
do Qigong that you do not let the extra energy you develop interfere with the normal functioning of 
your body. A ‘real person’ is someone who has reached the stage of real breathing, and Qi is able to 
reach deep into every part of his body. Regardless of how this Qi moves, the mind (Yi) must remain 
at the Dan Tian, which is the “regular center.” 

It is also said: “The real breathing, like there like gone, soft and nonstop, one name ‘internal 
breathing.’ (Though) the external normal breathing is stopped, there is an up and down internal 
scenery at the Dan Tian .” 10 The Daoist song, Ling Yuan Ge (Spiritual Source Song) says: 
“Concentrate on the (training) of Qi until it reaches softness, and the Shen is able to stay long, to and 
fro of the ‘real breathing’ naturally leisurely .” 11 This sentence leads you to the key to real breathing. 
In order to reach the stage of real breathing, you must concentrate on training your Qi flow to be as 
soft as possible, and your spirit must concentrate and stay in one place, then someday you will sense 
the Qi’s up and down movements and attain ‘real breathing.’ 

The Daoist San Feng Zi said: “Do not forget the Qi, regulate ‘real breathing,’ but keep Xu Wu 
(nothing), transport Kan (water) and Li (fire ).” 13 This sentence means that in Qigong training you 
must always pay attention to the Qi and learn to regulate the ‘real breathing.’ Keep your mind at the 
Upper Dan Tian where your Shen resides. Xu Wu (& fc) means “nothing,” and represents the place 
where the spirit resides because spirit was generated from nothing. If you are able to do this, you will 
be able to transport the Water Qi up to cool the Fire Qi. 



Embryonic Breathing (Tai Xi, ¥> &) 


We mentioned in the first chapter that there are two major kinds of Qi: Pre-birth Qi or Original Qi 
(Yuan Qi), and Post-birth Qi. Original Qi is converted from the Original Essence you inherited from 
your parents, and Post-birth Qi is converted from the food and air Essence. Original Qi is generally 
considered to be Yin Qi or Water Qi, while Post-birth Qi is thought to be Yang Qi or Fire Qi. 

It is said: “Producing the large herb is not different from growing things between heaven and 
earth. In all, it is only Yang and Yin, two Qi’s. When the two Qi’s provide each other and become 
one, the heaven and the earth will mutually interact.” 13 This means that in order to generate the herb 
(elixir), you must have both Yin Qi and Yang Qi. Both Qi’s must mutually interact with each other, 
then a living thing or herb will be produced. The herb or living thing here means the embryo, which 
represents the beginning of a new life. Daoist Zhang, Zi-Qiong said: “Not assisting, not forgetting, 
the marvelous breathing. To cultivate human nature (the Dao), (you) must comprehend this Gongfu. 
Regulate the two Qi’s to originate the embryonic breathing. Then build your (herb or elixir) furnace 
in it.” 14 This sentence means that when you cultivate your Dao, you should not concentrate on (assist) 
nor ignore (forget) the marvelous strategy of breathing. In order to reach the embryonic breathing 
stage, you must learn to regulate the Yang and Yin Qi. After you can regulate your Yang and Yin Qi, 
you will be able to generate the elixir in it. 

What then is embryonic breathing? It is said: “(When) the Shen is hidden at the Qi cavity, it is 
called the embryo. (When) the (Post-birth) Qi is able to reach to the cavity, it is called breathing. 
With embryonic Shen and breathing Qi, when Gongfu advances to embryonic breathing, then no exit 
and no entrance. (One) will no more have normal breathing.” 15 Before we continue, you should first 
understand what cavity is meant here. In Qigong, several places are called “Yuan Qiao” (*-&.), 
which means “original cavity,” or “original key point.” One of these places is called “Huang Ting” 
(ft A) or “Yellow Yard.” Daoists used to wear yellow robes, so naturally this name is used frequently 
in Daoist society. The Huang Ting cavity is behind the navel and in front of the Mingmen (Gv- 
4)(^- H)(Figure 9-6). It is at the center of gravity of your body. This is the place where the baby’s 
cells start to multiply. In embryonic breathing, your Shen is able to reside at the Huang Ting and the 
Post-birth Qi is able to reach it. Then the Yang Qi and Yin Qi interact, and a new “baby” is born. The 
Daoist Li, Qing-An said: “Shen and Qi combine to originate the super spiritual quality, Xin and 
breath are mutually dependent to generate the holy embryo.” 16 Xin here means mind and Shen. 

The Daoist treatise Wu Zhen Pian (Treatise on Comprehending the Real) said: “There are three 
kinds of breathing. From coarse to fine, inhalation and exhalation through the nose is nose breathing. 
Keeping the center (Lower Dan Tian) and ascending and descending, is Qi breathing. (When) 
extremely calm and return to its root is called Shen breathing. Therefore, to number (means to 
evaluate) the breathing (meaning nose breathing) is not as high as regulating (abdominal real) 
breathing, and the regulating breathing is not as high as Shen breathing. When the Shen breathing 
becomes peaceful, then condense the Shen into the Qi cavity (Huang Ting), then the breathing is 
really deep.” 17 This saying explains the levels of breathing. First, you learn nose breathing from 
coarse to fine, until the breathing becomes relaxed, deep, smooth, and natural. Then you enter into 
abdominal breathing and eventually enter into real breathing. After you have reached the real 
breathing stage, you train Shen breathing until your Shen is able to reach the Huang Ting cavity and 
the Post-birth Qi is able to reach there also, so that the holy embryo will be generated and the elixir 
will be formed. 

To conclude this section, it is important for a Qigong practitioner to learn the correct ways of 
regulating his breathing. There are many ways of regulating the breathing, which we have arranged 


from the most basic to the deepest and most dif-ficult. To reach the final goal of embryonic breathing 
you must start with regulating the normal breathing. It is called “Bi Xi” (&4), which means “nose 
breathing.” From normal regular breathing, you will enter the abdominal breathing stage which 
enables you to build Qi at the Dan Tian. It is this Qi that will lead you to the door of real Qigong 
practice. This training is called “Qi Xi” (&&), or “Qi breathing.” When you have reached this level 
the Dan Tian Qi is able to move up and down following your breathing. You have now reached the 
target of “real breathing” (Zhen Xi,& 4-). Finally, you will lead the Post-birth Qi to the “Huang Ting 
Cavity” to interact with the Pre-birth Qi and generate the “holy embryo” (Sheng Tai,S .It*). When you 
have completed this stage, you will have formed the “Elixir.” This stage of breathing is called “Tai 
Xi” 4.), which means “embryonic breathing.” 


Figure 9-6. Huang Ting cavity 



Reaching the final goal of embryonic breathing is very difficult. When you have reached this 
stage, you will have built the foundation of enlightenment. It is almost impossible to reach this stage 
without becoming a hermit. Very few Qigong practitioners have really done it. It is probable more 
feasible for the average person who is seeking good health and a long life to reach the stage of “real 
breathing.” 


9-4. General Keys to Regulating Normal Breathing 


If you are a Qigong beginner, you should start with regulating your normal breathing, and not 
worry about any other Qi regulating breath training. This will gradually lead you into Qi breathing. 

There are eight key words for air breathing which a beginning Qigong practitioner should 
remember during normal breathing exercise. Once you understand them you will be able to 
substantially shorten the time needed to reach your Qigong goals. These eight key words are: 

1. Calm and Silent (Jing,#). The mind is calm and the breathing is silent. When your 
mind is calm and peaceful, you will be able to judge what is going on correctly and 
will be able to regulate your breathing more efficiently. Unless you are engaged in 
special training for some specific purpose, keep your breathing silent so that it is 
relaxed and peaceful. 

2. Slender (Xi,£a). When you breathe, it is like a tiny stream — it should be smooth, 
natural, and slender. This key will lead you into deeper levels of meditation and 
relaxation. 

3. Deep (Shen,ifc). When you breathe deeply, draw the air down into your abdomen. 

Draw the air in by moving your diaphragm down, rather than by expanding your 
chest. Only expand your chest if you are doing a chest expanding exercise. Deep 
breathing will lead you to abdominal breathing and build the foundation for your 
Qigong practice. 

Deep and complete breathing does not mean that you inhale and exhale to the 
maximum. This would cause the lungs and the surrounding muscles to tense up, 
which in turn would keep the air from circulating freely, and hinder the absorption 
of oxygen. Without enough oxygen, your mind becomes scattered, and the rest of 
your body tenses up. In correct breathing, you inhale and exhale to about 70% or 
80% of your maximum capacity, so that your lungs stay relaxed. 

You can conduct an easy experiment. Inhale deeply so that your lungs are 
completely full, and time how long you can hold your breath. Then try inhaling to 
only about 70% of your capacity, and see how long you can hold your breath. You 
will find that with the latter method you can last much longer than with the first 
one. This is simply because the lungs and the surrounding muscles are relaxed. 

When they are relaxed, the rest of your body and your mind can also relax, which 
decreases significantly your need for oxygen. Therefore, when you regulate your 
breathing, the first priority is to keep your lungs relaxed and calm. 

4. Long ( Chang, &). When you breathe, you should keep the breath as long as 
possible. However, you should remember that breathing long does not mean 
holding your breath. In order to breathe long, your lungs must be very relaxed and 
your meditative mind must have reached a deep level. In this case, your heartbeat 
will slow down, and you will require less oxygen. Only under these conditions can 
your breathing be long. 

5. Continuous (You,&). Your breathing must be smooth, natural, and most important 
of all, continuous. Unless it is for a specialized training, your breath should be 
continuous and without stagnation. When you stop or hold your breath, your body 
will tense. Continuous breathing will help you relax and lead you to a deeper 
meditative mind. 

6. Uniform (Yun,-]). Your breathing should be uniform. As we mentioned previously, 



your breathing is affected by your emotions. In order to attain uniformity in your 
breathing, you must regulate your emotional mind. Only this will allow you to keep 
your breath uniform and smooth. 

7. Slow (Huan/* ,). Unless you are practicing a special training, your mind must be 
slowed down and you must take your time with your breathing. Take it easy and be 
natural. Do not rush your inhalation and exhalation. 

8. Soft (Mian,^ ). When you breathe, your breathing should be easy and soft. Soft 
breathing makes you relaxed and leads you to a deeper meditative mind. 



9-5. Six Stages of Regulating the Breath 


In Qigong society, there are six common words used in conjunction with regulating the breathing. 

They represent six stages in the practice. These words are: 

1. Count (Shu.-fc.). Count means to count the breaths (Shu Xi.tCS- ). Counting is the 
first and most basic way to regulate the breathing. First, calm your mind and 
breath, following the eight keys to regulating explained above. Then, start to count 
your breaths slowly from one to ten and from ten to one. Alternatively, you may 
count only inhalations or exhalations. Paying attention to the counting keeps your 
mind from concentrating on your breathing and becoming tense. This helps you to 
lead your mind into a state of meditation. This is similar to the idea of counting 
sheep when you want to fall asleep. 

2. Follow (Sui/£ .). Follow means to follow the breathing (Sui Xi,^- ■&.). Once you can 
regulate your breathing with the counting method, you move on to this method. Be 
conscious of your breathing and follow the inhalation and exhalation. When you 
can do this without tensing up, your mind and breathing will unite and become one. 

The mind here means emotional mind, because it is the emotional mind which 
disturbs your calmness and peaceful thinking. It is said: “Xin Xi Xiang Yi” 

(■£.' ffc), meaning “Heart (mind) and breathing (are) mutually dependent.” When 
your mind is able to follow the breathing, the mind will enter a deeper meditative 
state and the breathing will slow down further. Following is an important technique 
in using the breathing and mind to help each other enter the deeper states of 
meditation. 

3. Stop (Zhi, ;r \). Stop means to stop thinking about your breathing (Zhi Xi,*fc.£). An 
ancient Daoist named Li, Qing-An said: “Regulating breathing means to regulate 
the breathing until (you) stop.” 18 This means that correct regulating means not 
having to consciously regulate. In other words, although you start by regulating 
your breath consciously, you must get to the point where the regulation happens 
naturally, and you no longer have to think about it. When you breathe, if you 
concentrate your mind on breathing, it is not true regulating, because the Qi in your 
lungs will become stagnant. When you reach the level of true regulating, no 
regulating is necessary, and you can use your mind efficiently to lead the Qi. 
Remember wherever the Yi is, there is Qi. If the Yi stops in one spot, the Qi will be 
stagnant. It is the Yi which leads the Qi and makes it move. Therefore, when you 
are in a state of correct breath regulation, your mind is free. There is no sound, 
stagnation, urgency, or hesitation, and you can be calm and peaceful. When you 
reach this stage, you have obtained the real key to meditation. 

4. Look (Guan, ■&•,). Look means to feel and to sense the breathing (Guan Xi, $■&.). It 
is also commonly called “Ting Xi’ (ft &), or “listening to the breathing.” The words 
looking and listening here do not mean actually looking with your eyes and 
listening with your ears. They refer to using your mind to feel and sense what is 
happening. In meditation this is called “Nei Shi Fan Ting” (f 4 i-iG'ift ), meaning “to 
see internally and to listen inwardly.” Therefore, in Qigong meditation you do not 
pay attention to anything outside of your body. You use your mind to feel and 
sense (look and listen) internally. When you have reached the stage of regulating 
the breathing without regulating, your mind will be free. Then you are able to 



concentrate your mind on the movement of the Qi, and you may lead the Qi 
wherever you wish. You will be able to lead the Qi to every cell of your body and 
feel that your body is transparent. 

5. Return (Fan,*&,. ). Fan Xi (return breathing, & ) means to return your breathing to 
its natural way. That also implies that in this stage you will have reached the level 
of regulating the breathing without regulating. That means when you have 
mastered this stage you will have not only returned your breathing to the natural 
way, but have also reached the stage where your breathing combines with your 
mind and they become one. The breathing reflects the mind, and the mind reflects 
the breathing. Your breathing is now automatically regulated, and you no longer 
have to pay conscious attention to it, and your mind now regulates itself. 
Regulating your mind requires that you understand the way (Dao) that Nature 
works. Your mind is now free and able to enter into a deep meditative state, and 
you can see beneath the surface of things and events and understand their real 
nature. The first step to this is understanding yourself. You need to comprehend the 
meaning of life. Breathing is the sign of life, and the dividing line of Yin and Yang. 

When you understand your breathing, you understand your life. This involves 
moving in your understanding from the poles of extreme Yin and extreme Yang to 
the middle, where all the fine gradations and shadings of existence are. When your 
mind is able to stay at the center, you are able to judge neutrally and see clearly. 

The two poles of Yin and Yang return back to their origin — “Wuji” (No 
Extremities, ^ & .). Natural breathing lets your mind be clear, so you can look at 
yourself and search out the real you. Only after you understand yourself are you 
able to understand real nature or the real “Dao.” 

Everything has its origin. In order to understand real nature, you must trace back to 
its origin. Fan Xi is the process of returning yourself to your origin. This is a 
necessary step to becoming a “Buddha” or reaching “enlightenment.” It is said: 

“Jian Xing Liao Ran” (*!/]*■ 7 ft ), which means “to see Nature and understand what 
it really is.” When you have reached this stage, you have passed the stage of 
regulating your physical body and may concentrate on spiritual matters. 

6. Clean (Jing,'^.). “Clean” means “regulated,” so in this method you use natural 
breathing to regulate your thoughts (Jing Xi, ; ? &.), although the term also refers to 
the stage when the breathing and the mind become one and the mind is regulated. 

Once you understand the real you and the real nature that lie beneath the surface 
appearances, you will use this breathing to regulate your mind into a state where 
you are free of emotions. Only then will you be able to reach the higher stages of 
spiritual cultivation. This cleaning process for the emotional mind is the final stage 
of religious Qigong. According to Buddhism, in order to become a Buddha, you 
must get rid of the seven emotions and six desires. Once you have reached this 
stage, your body is clean and your spirit is pure. When your mind and spirit has 
reached this stage, it is called “Jing” (clean). 

To conclude this subject, and hopefully to stimulate you to further thought, I would like to 
introduce more poetry related to regulating the breath. You should always remember that breath 
training gives you techniques and strategies which enable you to regulate your body and mind in 
Qigong practice. By regulating the body, mind, and breathing, you will be able to regulate your Qi 
and lead it smoothly and naturally. Qi and breathing are mutually related and cannot be separated. 
This idea is explained frequently in Daoist literature. The Daoist Guang Cheng Zi said: “One exhale. 



the Earth Qi rises; one inhale, the Heaven Qi descends; real man’s (meaning one who has attained 
the real Dao) repeated breathing at the navel, then my real Qi is naturally connected .” 19 This says that 
your abdomen should be the center of your breathing, almost as if you were breathing through your 
navel. The earth Qi is the negative (Yin) energy from your kidneys, and the sky Qi is the positive 
(Yang) energy which comes from the food you eat and the air you breathe. When you breathe from 
the navel, these two Qi’s are able to connect and combine. Some people think that they know what 
Qi is, but they really don’t. Once you connect the two Qi’s, you will know what the “real” Qi is, and 
you may become a “real” man, which means one who has attained the Dao. 

The Daoist book Chang Dao Zhen Yan (Sing (of the) Dao (with) Real Words) says: “One exhale 
one inhale to communicate Qi’s function, one movement one calmness is the same as (is the source 
of) creation and variation .” 20 The first part of this statement implies again that the functioning of Qi 
is connected to breathing. The second part means that all creation and variation come from the 
interaction of movement (Yang) and calmness (Yin). 

Huang Ting Jing (Yellow Yard Classic) says: “Breathe Original Qi to seek immortality.” 21 This 
means that in order to reach the goal of immortality, you must find and understand Original Qi, by 
means of correct breathing. 

Moreover, the Daoist Wu Zhen Ren said: “Use post-birth breathing to look for the real person’s 
(i.e. the immortal’s) breathing place .” 22 In this sentence, it is clear that in order to locate the immortal 
breathing place (the Dan Tian), you must rely on and know how to regulate your Post-birth, or 
natural, breathing. Through regulating your Post-birth breathing, you will gradually be able to locate 
the residence of the Qi (the Dan Tian), and eventually you will be able to use your Dan Tian to 
breath like the immortal Daoists. 

Finally, in the Daoist song Ling Yuan Da Dao Ge (The Great Daoist Song of the Spirit’s Origin) it 
is said: “The Originals (Original Jing, Qi, and Shen) are internally transported peacefully, so that you 
can become real (immortal); (if you) depend (only) on external breathing (you) will not reach the 
end (goal ).” 23 From this song, you can see that internal breathing (breathing at the Dan Tian) is the 
key to training your three treasures and finally reaching immortality. However, you must first know 
how to regulate your external breathing correctly. 



References 


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CHAPTER 10 


Regulating the Emotional Mind (Tiao Xin) 3 s ] 



10-1. Introduction 


The Daoists say: “(When) large Dao is taught, first stop thought; when thought is not stopped, (the 
lessons are) in vain.” 1 This means that when you first practice Qigong, the most difficult training is 
to stop your thinking. The final goal for your mind is the “thought of no thought.”(Wu Nian Zhi 
Nian,££-*.£ ). Your mind does not think of the past, the present, or the future, so you are 
independent of their influences. Your mind can be calm and steady, and you can gain peace. Only 
when you are in the state of “the thought of no thought” will you be relaxed and able to sense calmly 
and accurately. 

You can see that regulating your mind is probably the second key to successful Qigong training. 
Regulating the mind is called “Tiao Xin” (&' tf ), which means “to regulate the (emotional) mind.” In 
the third chapter we discussed the differences between the emotional mind (Xin) and the wisdom 
mind (Yi). Before we discuss how to regulate your emotional mind, we would like to summarize the 
differences between Xin and Yi. 

1. Yi is the mind which is related to your wisdom and correct judgment. Yi is 
generated from clear thinking and is calm, peaceful, and clear. Xin is the mind 
which expresses your feelings, emotions, and desires. Xin can be excited, 
energized, and confused. When Xin and Yi work together, your inner humanity and 
personality will be manifested. 

2. Yi is considered the “Water Mind” and is nourished with the “Water Qi” (Original 
Qi) generated from Yuan Jing (Original Essence), while the Xin is considered the 
“Fire Mind” and is nourished with “Fire Qi” converted from the food and air 
Essences. 

In Qigong training, regulating your mind means using your wisdom mind (Yi) to regulate your 
emotional mind (Xin). After the emotional mind is under the control of wisdom mind, you will be 
calm and peaceful. Yi is the master of the Xin. After your Yi has control of your Xin, you will be 
able to regulate your Yi into a deeper meditative level and finally reach the stage of the “thought of 
no thought.” This mind regulating practice is called “Qin Yuan Zhuo Ma” (ft ifc & ), which means 

“Seize the ape and catch the horse.” The ape represents the Xin and the horse represents the Yi. Xin, 
the emotional mind, is like an ape which is always running around. You have to put it on a leash and 
train it so that, although it is still emotional and excitable, it is now under your control. The Yi is like 
a horse which is strong and very useful, but which still has to be trained and harnessed before it can 
be used. Once the horse is tamed and trained, it can be calm, steady, and peaceful. 

The Daoist Chong Yang Zu said: “Sleepy, then seize the ape and catch the horse, when you 
waken, again pluck ‘Ling Zhi,’ repeat the practice hundreds of days, only your heart (Xin) knows. 
Conserve your real Qi, hide (it) at the Dan Tian, the human will not die.” 1 This saying means that if 
you feel sleepy while you are meditating, you should seize your Xin (emotional mind) and catch the 
Yi (wisdom mind). The emotional mind makes you feel tired and sleepy. You should take control of 
your Yi and Xin and wake yourself up by raising your spirit and keeping it at the center. Ling Zhi 
(t £.)(Fomes Japonica) is a hard, dark brownish fungus which is supposed to possess supernatural 
powers. Here, Ling Zhi means the elixir which enables you to have a long life. 

Once you have reached the stage of “no thought,” your mind is clear enough to sense things 
accurately. You have to be able to sense things clearly inside your own body before you can direct 
the circulation of Qi and nourish your Shen. If your emotional mind (Xin) is properly regulated, you 
can use it to sense what is going on inside you, and use your Yi to evaluate and correct the situation. 


One of the most common processes of regulating the mind, which is especially popular with 
scholars, was originated by Confucius. He said: “First you must be calm, then your mind can be 
steady. Once your mind is steady, then you are at peace. Only when you are at peace are you able to 
think and finally gain.” 3 This procedure can also be applied to non-scholar meditation or Qigong 
exercises: First Calm, then Steady, Peace, Think, and finally Gain. So, when you practice Qigong, 
you must first learn to be emotionally calm. Once calm, you will be able to see what you want and 
firm your mind (steady). This firm and steady mind is your intention or Yi (it is how your Yi is 
generated). Only after you know what you really want will your mind gain peace and be able to relax 
emotionally and physically. After you have reached this stage, you must concentrate or think in order 
to execute your intention. When your mind is thoughtful and concentrated, your Qi will flow and 
you will be able to gain what you wish. 

In this chapter we will first discuss the concepts of Xin (emotional mind) and Nian (thought). 
Once you understand these two concepts you will be able to learn how to control them and finally 
reach the goal of regulating the mind. One of the main purposes of regulating your mind is so that 
you can use it to lead or regulate the Qi. Therefore, we should review the relationship of Yi and Qi. 
Then we will discuss the concept of regulating the Qi in your organs. Finally, we will explain the 
relationship between Xin, Yi, and Shen. 


10-2. Xin, Yi, and Nian 


As discussed before, there are two concepts in Chinese which are both translated “mind.” One is 
the emotional mind (Xin,' 1 '* ), and the other is the wisdom mind (Yi, 4 - ). Both of these minds originate 
(generate) ideas. Most of these ideas last only a short time, and do not remain in your consciousness. 
However, many others remain, residing in your brain and affecting your thinking. When this 
happens, the idea generated from Xin or Yi is matured, and become a “thought.” A thought will 
continue to affect your thinking and decision-making, and oftentimes disturb your emotions. This 
matured thought is called “Nian” (&) in Chinese. The Chinese frequently combine the two (idea and 
thought) and use the term “Xin Nian” (s<fe ) (emotional mind-thought) to distinguish the thoughts 
generated by Xin from those generated by the wisdom mind, which would be called “Yi Nian” (&& ) 
(wisdom mind-thought). 

For example, when you hear something sad which upsets you, your emotional mind (Xin) has 
grasped an idea which causes an emotional reaction in it. If this state of mind persists and continues 
to upset you emotionally, it has become a thought and is “Nian” instead of “Xin.” When you see a 
beautiful car and wish you owned it, this idea is called Xin. If this idea continues to bother you, then 
it is “Nian.” Xin is the cause of thought, and thought is the product of Xin. 

The Yi is also able to generate thoughts. They are usually calm, wise thoughts which do not 
disturb you emotionally or mentally. However, what usually happens with most people is that the 
idea which the Yi has generated is taken over by the Xin. For example, from your Yi, you know you 
should get up at six o’clock in the morning for Qigong practice. This idea is an Yi. However, when 
morning comes around, your emotional laziness has conquered the idea which was originally 
generated from Yi, and you decide to turn over and go back to sleep. In this case, the new idea (of 
laziness) is generated from Xin. Once you finally get up, you feel guilty and sorry for yourself. If 
this emotional, conscious feeling persists, then it is a “thought” (Xin Nian). 

In Qigong, thoughts which originate with the emotional mind (Xin) are classified as fire thoughts, 
because they are able to disturb or raise your emotional feelings, while the thoughts which originated 
with the Yi are classified as water thoughts, because they can cool down your emotions. Generally 
speaking, in Qigong practice it is the emotional mind and thoughts which disturb and slow down 
your cultivation. Therefore, when regulating the mind is mentioned in Qigong society, they usually 
mean regulating the Xin (emotional mind) and the thoughts it generates. 

Regulating your Xin means to cut down on the amount of ideas generated from your emotional 
feelings, and to disperse thoughts (Nian) which formed from Xin concerning the past, present, and 
future. If you want to stop thoughts from being produced, you must find the source of the Xin and 
the Nian. Only when you have traced them to their source will you be able to stop your thoughts at 
their root. 

Buddhists believe that emotional feelings are generated by attachment to the seven emotions and 
the six sensory pleasures (Qi Qing Liu Yu,^ ‘^ ^ ^ .). The seven emotions are: happiness, anger, 
sorrow, joy, love, hate, and desire; and the six sensory pleasures are the pleasures derived from the 
eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. 

The Buddhists believe that all human suffering comes from these roots. In order to be emotionally 
neutral and become a Buddha, you must first cultivate your Xin and become detached from all 
emotional roots. They are aiming for the state of the “Four Emptinesses” (Si Da Jie Kong)(» k $ ), 
which means that the four elements (earth, water, fire, and air) are absent from the mind and one is 
indifferent to worldly temptations. 

The first step toward reaching this goal of regulating the Xin is “Guan Xin” (ft-'- ), which means 



“inspect or look at (your) Xin.” In other words, you must first investigate yourself, and come to 
understand yourself. Therefore you must first withdraw all of your attention from the outside world, 
and concentrate it wholly on your inner world. This training is called “Nei Shi Gongfu” 
which means “the Gongfu of internal vision.” 

After you have found the roots of your emotional disturbance, you will start to regulate your Xin. 
Regulating your Xin involves using your Yi and conscious feeling to stop the activity in your Xin, 
setting it free from the bondage of ideas, emotions, and conscious thoughts. When you reach this 
level, your mind will be calm, peaceful, empty, and light. 

Naturally, most Qigong practitioners are not aiming at the goal of enlightenment or Buddhahood. 
Their major priorities are health, happiness, and longevity. Buddhist monks will generally retreat 
into the mountains and separate themselves from the normal human world to avoid emotional 
disturbance during their cultivation. As a general Qigong practitioner, you are aiming to regulate 
your Xin with your Yi. You do not want to get rid of your emotional mind, but you want it to be 
controlled by your Yi. Through this training, you will be able to put your mind in neutral when 
necessary and attain your goal of a calm and peaceful life. 

In Qigong practice, only if your mind has reached the stage of real calmness and peace will you be 
able to relax deep into your marrow and internal organs. Then your mind will be clear enough to see 
(feel) the internal Qi circulation, and communicate with your Qi and organs. Finally, your Yi will be 
able to regulate your Qi and lead it to a state of balance. 

Although this theory is simple and easy to understand, in practice it is very difficult to regulate 
your mind. In the last several thousand years, meditators have developed several ways of doing it. In 
the next section we will list some of them for your reference. 



10-3. Methods of Stopping Thought (Zhi Nian, ■££) 


Before you start, you should understand that there are no techniques which are absolutely effective 
for everybody. It depends on the individual. It may also depend on the situation and timing. 
Remember that the final goal of regulating your thoughts is to reach “the thought of no thought.” In 
other words, to regulate your thoughts without thinking of regulating. Therefore, you must continue 
practicing until the regulating happens naturally and you do not need to consciously regulate your 
thoughts. Only when you reach this stage will your mind be free and neutral. 



Stop and Look Method (Zhi Guan Fa, .) 


“Zhi” means “to stop” and “Guan” means “to look after,” “to investigate,” and “to take care of.” 
This means that after your Yi has controlled your Xin, you should concentrate on watching the 
thoughts as they appear. When one comes, you should stop it immediately, not allowing it to grow. 
You should keep your consciousness aware of what is happening and use your Yi to stop each new 
thought. This process is called “Zhi Nian Fa” (it & ^(stopping thought method). 

You will often find that, once you have stopped one thought, another one appears immediately. 
You stop that one, but another one pops up as if there is no end to the cycle. In order to stop this 
negative cycle, you must wait until your mind is clear, calm, and peaceful, and then put your Yi there 
before any more thoughts come up from the Xin. If you can keep your mind in this neutral state, 
further thoughts will be stopped. The following are methods commonly used by meditators to stop 
the new thoughts from appearing. 

Generally, there are three steps to stopping the Xin and Nian: 

1. Tie to the Origin and Stop Method (Xi Yuan Zhi,® “Xi” means “to tie,” “to 
bind,” “Yuan” means “relationship, origin, and cause,” and “Zhi” means “to stop.” 

In this training you bind your Xin and Nian to one place in the same way that you 
would tie an ape to a post. If you can keep your Yi centered in a particular spot, 
you can control your Xin and Nian, but if your Yi is weak, your Xin and Nian will 
run wild. 

There are two places which are commonly used to center your Yi. The first place is 
your nose. Place your Yi on your nose and pay attention to your breathing. 
Gradually, the generation of new Xin and Nian will stop. The second common 
place is the Lower Dan Tian. Concentrate your Yi at the Dan Tian and feel and 
sense the generation and movement of Qi. Gradually your Xin and Nian will 
become quiet. 

2. Restrain the Xin and Stop Method (Zhi Xin Zhi,^' 4 *' Once you have tied up the 
ape, you still have to calm it down, or it will continue to run around the post. This 
is the taming process. Once you are able to bind your Xin and Nian in one place, 
you must stop the thoughts from being generated by the Xin. You need to 
understand the reason why the ape is still running wild, whether it is due to hunger 
or some disturbance, and you need to understand why your Xin is still generating 
distracting thoughts. If you are taming an ape, in order to keep the ape in the cage 
without running wild, you must understand the feelings of the ape and try to solve 
the problem in order to calm it down. Once the ape realizes that he will not be able 
to escape and will not be harmed, and furthermore, that he will be taken good care 
of by the master, he will gradually get used to it and calm down. 

3. To Comprehend the Real and Stop Method (Ti Zhen Zhi,flt&jt). This is the last 
step in stopping thought. In this step you analyze how Xin and Nian are being 
continually generated. Like dealing with an ape, once you understand the cause of 
its wildness, you can determine how to calm it down. Only after you have calmed it 
down are you able to lead the Xin to understand and comprehend the nature of 
reality. Finally, the new disturbances of your Xin will be stopped. It is like 
educating the ape so that he understands that when he is staying with the master, he 
will have plenty of food and a nice place to stay. At this point you will not need to 
keep the ape tied up. Only when you are able to untie the ape (your mind) and have 



it stay calm and peaceful have you reached real regulation. Then the Xin and Nian 
which are generated will not run wild, and the Yi will be able to direct them 
effortlessly. 

There are also three ways of looking at or investigating your thoughts. They are called the Three 
Looks. When your mind is calm and peaceful, pay attention to your thoughts and learn how to 
analyze them. 

1. The Empty Look (Kong Guan,£&i). When you use the Empty Look you look at 
and investigate everything in this universe: how it is generated, and how it grows, 
changes, and finally dies. As you look at things, you discover why they happen and 
what their causes are, and you learn the effects they cause. Everything that happens 
is ultimately empty. Your experiences are vain, illusory, they gain you nothing but 
a feeling which is false and temporary in comparison with the existence of the 
universe. When your Xin understands this principle, it will not continue to think. 
Buddhists believe that all motivations and desires generated from the emotional 
mind do not last long, and ultimately accomplish nothing. If you can see this, you 
will be able to stop the generation of new Xin and Nian. 

2. The False Look (Jia Guan,lRft). “Jia” in Chinese means “false, imaginary, not 
real.” In this method, when you find yourself in a bad situation, perhaps stuck in 
traffic, you look into the past to see how the traffic jam may have come about, and 
you look into the future to see how it will surely clear up. You look into the past 
and future to help you control your Xin in the present. However, since the past and 
future are not the now, they are false. In this method, you are looking at false things 
and using them to help yourself let go of unsettling feelings and control your Xin. 

3. The Centered Look (Zhong Guan^fe.). After you have used the other two Looks 
and your Xin comprehends the nature of emotional disturbances, you will have 
seen through every emotional feeling and desire, and you will understand that they 
are all only temporary. Since your physical life is so short, you should not be 
bothered by empty emotional feelings. Once you have realized this, you will keep 
your attention on (look at) only the here and now. Your mind will now be centered 
and neutral. All of these Looks use your Yi to lead the Xin to understand the truth 
about emotional feelings. Then Xin will not bother the Yi again. 

For example, if you are driving somewhere and suddenly get caught in a traffic 
jam, do you get upset? Most people would, but if you stop to think about it, what 
do you gain from getting upset? Will the jam disappear or will the cars start 
moving faster? What do you gain from getting upset, and what do you lose? If you 
understand all of this, you will see that there is no benefit derived from getting 
upset, and you will use the time more gainfully, perhaps by just enjoying the music 
on the radio. If you can do this, then your mind is centered and regulated. 



The Behold and Think Method (Guan Xiang Fa, && &) 


“Guan” in Chinese means “to admire, to look up to, or to view someone or something” as an 
example. “Xiang” means “to imagine, to think, or to meditate.” In this method, when you meditate to 
regulate your Xin you hold an image or idea in your mind of a person, such as Buddha, or 
something, such as moonlight, which occupies your attention. If you concentrate on this image, your 
Xin will be steady and calm, and, consequently, your mind will be regulated. The person or thing 
upon which you concentrate is the source of the power which encourages and enables you to conquer 
your emotional mind. 

The Guan Xiang method is widely used by Buddhists. When Christians meditate on the image of 
Christ to lead their minds into a steady, calm state and finally regulate their minds, they too are using 
the Guan Xiang method. In Daoist and Buddhist meditations, a Buddha is usually used as an image, 
and a poem or verse written by the Buddha will be read to help the Xin be steady and peaceful. 
People use other things as images too. Sometimes people will use the moon, because it is peaceful, 
gentle, and calm, and can help you to lead your mind into a deep meditative state. 



The One Point Spiritual Enlightenment Method (Yi Dian Ling Ming Fa, ^ fk 


“Yi Dian” means “a point.” “Ling” is “the supernatural part of the Shen.” “Ming” means 
“enlightenment.” In this technique you focus on the highest, most refined level of your Shen. You 
are looking to enlighten the supernatural Shen, or Ling, and focus it on a tiny point in your Upper 
Dan Tian (i.e. the third eye). When you are doing this, your thought will have a target. This effort 
will regulate your Xin and redirect it into a peaceful and calm state. 



The Large Hand Stamp Method (Da Shou Yin, k -f *F) 


“Da Shou Yin” literally means the “Large Hand Stamp.” Large Hand means the fingers, and 
Stamp means pressing the fingers together. The Large Hand Stamp meditation method originated 
with the Indian Buddhists, and was later widely adopted by the Tibetan Buddhists. After a thousand 
years of study and practice, this method has become a major meditation technique in Tibetan Qigong 
practice. 

In this practice, you press your fingers together in specific ways. The fingers of one hand may 
press fingers on the other hand, or on the same hand, or the fingers may be interlocked in certain 
ways. Your mind concentrates on where you are pressing, and at the same time your concentrated 
mind leads your Shen to a higher state. 

Leading your Shen to a higher state is the key to success in regulating. When your Shen is raised, 
your Yi is strong and the Xin will be controlled. Frequently people will generate a sound or else 
shout to awaken and raise the Shen and stop the generation of distracting thoughts. For example, 
when you meditate you may discover that your emotional mind bothers you and you cannot stop it. If 
you open your eyes and look fiercely and utter the sound “Ha” ($), you will stop the emotional 
thought and lead yourself to a new stage of meditation. 

Religious meditators will often regulate their minds by raising their Shen. Another method is to 
concentrate the Shen, rather than raise it. When the Shen is focused, the Yi will naturally also be 
focused, and the Xin will be controlled. Often a gong is used to help the meditator focus his Yi and 
Shen. 



10-4. Yi and Qi 


All of the above discussion focused on how to regulate your Xin. Once your Xin is regulated, your 
mind will be peaceful and calm, and your Yi will be able to direct and regulate the Qi. 

However, in order to regulate your Qi effectively, you must train your Yi. The first step in this 
process involves understanding how the Yi communicates with your Qi. Communicate means to 
feel, to sense, and to correspond to. Your Yi must be able to sense and feel the Qi flow, and 
understand how strong and smooth it is. In Taiji Qigong it is said that your Yi must “listen” (Ting,& ) 
to your Qi and “understand” (Dong,&) it. “Listen” means to pay careful attention to what you sense 
and feel. The more you pay attention, the better you will be able to understand. It is important to 
understand that paying attention to your Qi does not mean that your Yi is right with the Qi. It means 
that your Yi is aware of what is going on with the Qi, but it does not directly interfere with it. Only 
when you understand what is going on with the Qi can you set up an effective strategy which allows 
you to accomplish your goals. In Qigong, when you want your Qi to do a certain thing, your mind 
(Yi) must first generate an idea. In other words, you form a clear idea or visualize what you want 
your Qi to do. When a general wants his troops to do something, he must first know where they are, 
and then communicate to them where he wants them to go. In the same way, when you want your Qi 
to do something, you must understand how and where your Qi presently is, and form a clear idea or 
image of where you want it to go. 

Next, you should know how to direct your soldiers. In Qigong training it is said: “Use your Yi 
(mind) to lead your Qi” (Yi Yi Yin Qi)(^ 51 &). Notice the word lead. Qi behaves like water — it 

cannot be pushed, but it can be led or guided. When Qi is led, it will flow smoothly and without 
stagnation. When it is pushed, it will flood and enter the wrong paths. Since Qi follows wherever the 
Yi goes, you lead the Qi simply by placing your Yi wherever you want the Qi to go. For example, if 
you intend to lift an object, this intention is your Yi. Your Yi goes to the object, the Qi moves out 
into your arms, and the arms go to the object. The Yi moves upward and the Qi follows, and the arms 
lift the object. You should also remember: when the Yi is strong, the Qi is strong, and when the Yi is 
weak, the Qi is weak. 

You can see that in order to regulate your Qi, you must first train your Yi. You have to learn to 
concentrate it more than you normally do in your everyday life. It also means that you must train 
your Yi to understand and lead the Qi in your body. Your Yi is like a general on a battlefield, and the 
Qi is like the soldiers. As a general, you must be calm and know what you are doing. You must know 
the condition of your soldiers and how they can be arranged for battle. 

It is said: “Your Yi is on your refined spirit (i.e. Jing Shen or spirit of vitality, (*ft# ), not on your 
Qi. Once your Yi is on your Qi, the Qi is stagnant.” 4 When you want to walk from one spot to 
another, you must first mobilize your intention and direct it toward the goal, then your body will 
follow. The mind must always be ahead of the body. If your mind stays on your body, you will not 
be able to move. It is as if you are a general conducting a battle. Although you should be aware of 
the situation of the soldiers, your mind cannot be on the soldiers. Your mind should be on strategy 
and where you should move your troops. If your mind is only on where the soldiers are now, you 
will not be able to lead your army to victory. 


10-5. Yi and the Five Organs 


One of the final goals in Qigong health training is to regulate the Qi in your five Yin organs. As 
mentioned several times, these five organs are the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and spleen. It is 
believed in Chinese Qigong society that these organs are the most vital organs and that they directly 
affect your health. If you want to have good health and slow down the degeneration of your body, 
you must regulate the Qi in these five organs so that it is neither too Yang nor too Yin. This process 
is called “Wu Qi Chao Yuan” (■&&& ), or “The five Qi’s toward their origins.” 

However, this is a very profound subject, and it is sometimes interpreted differently by Oriental 
physicians and by Qigong practitioners. In order to reach this target, your Yi must be able to sense 
the situation in these five organs. To do this, you must be able to relax deep into the organs, and then 
your Yi must be directed to a deep, sensitive level through meditation. If you are able to regulate 
your body and your Yi, you may be able to sense the different elements which make up your body: 
solid matter, liquids, gases, energy, and spirit. You may even be able to see or feel the different 
colors that are associated with the five organs — green (liver), white (lungs), black (kidneys), yellow 
(spleen), and red (heart). When understood properly, it can give you a method of analyzing the 
interrelationship of your organs, and help you devise ways to correct imbalances. 

Another method of regulating the five organs involves using the principle of the five elements 
(Wu Xing, ). Each of the five elements relates to one of the Yin organs: Metal to the lungs, Fire 
to the heart, Water to the kidneys, Wood to the liver, and Earth to the spleen. The way the organs 
relate to one another is similar to how the elements relate to each other. You can use this concept to 
regulate your organs. For example, Metal (the lungs) can be used to adjust the heat of the Fire (the 
heart), because metal can take a large quantity of heat away from fire (and thus cool down the heart). 
When you feel uneasy or have heartburn (excess fire in the heart), you may use deep breathing to 
calm down the uneasy emotions or cool down the heartburn. 

Naturally, it will take a lot of practice to reach this level. In the beginning, you should not have 
any ideas or intentions, because they will make it harder for your mind to relax and empty itself of 
thoughts. Once you are in a state of “no thought,” place your Yi on your Dan Tian. It is said “Yi 
Shou Dan Tian” (& fl- w), which means “The Yi is kept on the Dan Tian.” The Dan Tian is the 
origin and residence of your Qi. Your mind can build up the Qi here (start the fire, Qi Huo,^^), 
then lead the Qi anywhere you wish, and, finally, lead the Qi back to its residence in the Dan Tian. 
When your Yi is on the Dan Tian, your Qi will always have a root. When you keep this root, your Qi 
will be strong and full, and it will go where you want it to. You can see that, when you practice 
Qigong, your mind cannot be completely empty and relaxed. You must find firmness within 
relaxation, then you can reach your goal. 



10-6. Xin, Yi, and Shen 


In order to regulate your mind (Xin and Yi) effectively, you must also know the relationship of 
your Xin, Yi, and Shen. Xin, Yi, and Shen are mutually related and cannot be separated. First, you 
should understand that in Qigong training your Yi is the origin of your being and the control tower, 
and Xin is the energy source of your Shen. In order to raise your Shen, your Yi must first generate an 
idea of raising your Shen. From this idea, under the control of your Yi, your Xin will raise the Shen 
to a higher energy state. For example, a common way of training Shen is to image that the Upper 
Dan Tian is on fire. This is the step of raising the Shen to an energized state. Then you use your Yi to 
lead or to focus the fire spreading around the Upper Dan Tian to a tiny point. In this case, you have 
raised your Shen with your Xin, yet controlled it with your Yi. 

Although the Xin is able to raise your Shen, it can also make you excited, which will lead your 
Shen away from its residence in the Upper Dan Tian. For example, if you receive surprising news, 
you may become excited and your Shen may be raised. Usually, when this happens your Yi loses its 
control of the Xin, and you lose your calmness and clear judgment. In Qigong practice, your goal is 
to raise your Shen as high as possible and still have it controlled at its center by your Yi (Figure 10- 
1). Many Qigong practitioners, especially monks, believe that once they have reached a high level of 
Qigong and can regulate their Xin completely, they should be able to raise their Shen solely with 
their Yi, instead of with their Xin. 


You can see that when you regulate your Xin and Yi you are regulating your Shen as well. There 
are many steps in using your Yi to regulate your Shen. They are: 1. Shou Shen (?#)(to keep and 
protect the Shen); 2. Gu Shen (SlTt)(to firm and solidify the Shen); 3. Ding Shen (£*+ )(to stabilize 
and to calm the Shen); 4. Ning Shen (<fe#)(to condense or to focus the Shen); 5. Yang Shen (fr# )(to 
nourish, to raise, or to nurse the Shen); and 6. Lian Shen (^M?.)(to refine, to train, or to discipline the 
Shen). We have discussed these briefly in the third chapter, and we will cover them again when we 
discuss regulating the Shen. 


Figure 10-1. Use Yi to control Xin at the Upper Dan Tian 

Yi 



References 




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CHAPTER 1 1 


Regulating the Essence (Tiao Jing) 



11-1. Introduction 


Of the three roots — Jing, Qi, and Shen — Essence (Jing) is probably the most important element in 
successful Qigong practice. To regulate your Essence means to conserve it and convert it into Qi 
without any waste. You must learn how to keep your Original Essence in the kidneys, its residence, 
by strengthening the kidneys. You must also learn how to conserve the Essence by not abusing it, 
and by learning how to convert it into Qi efficiently. 

As mentioned, the Essences which are converted into Qi can be classified as Fire Essence, which 
is obtained from food and air, and Water Essence, which you inherit from your parents. In order to 
reduce the Fire Qi, you must reduce the Fire Essence by taking in high quality food and air. There 
are many texts available which discuss this idea. 

When Qigong practitioners refer to Essence, they are usually referring to Original Essence, which 
is also called Water Essence. It is usually of more importance in Qigong training than the Fire 
Essence. It is easy to regulate Fire Essence, but you need a lot of understanding and training to 
regulate the Water Essence. 

As mentioned in the third chapter, Chinese medical society calls two pairs of your body’s organs 
kidneys: your real kidneys (also called the internal kidneys; “Nei Shen, >4 JJ - ), and the testicles or 
ovaries (also referred to as the external kidneys; “Wai Shen/ r * j \). It is believed that after your birth, 
your Original Essence stays in your internal kidneys. The internal kidneys are closely related to the 
external kidneys. When the Original Essence in the kidneys is converted into Original Qi, part of it is 
used to nourish the external kidneys and enliven the production of sexual Essence or hormones. 
Clearly, if your internal kidneys are weak and the Original Qi cannot be converted efficiently from 
the Original Essence, the production of hormones or Essence by the testicles will also be reduced. 
Therefore, if you wish to regulate your Essence, you must first learn how to regulate the Original 
Essence in the internal kidneys. 

In Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong, the sexual Essence is the main source that is converted into Qi 
to fill up the four Qi vessels (reservoirs) in your legs. It is also believed that part of this Qi is led 
through the Thrusting Vessel (Chong Mai,’*;#) through the spinal cord to the brain to nourish it. 
When people get old and start to lose their sexual vitality, they often lose their memory and their legs 
become weak. This is simply because there is an insufficient amount of sexual Essence to supply Qi 
to the brain and the four vessels in the legs. For this reason, the main task in Marrow/Brain Washing 
Qigong is to increase the production of sexual Essence and convert it efficiently into Qi. If you are 
interested in knowing more about this subject, please refer to the book: Muscle/Tendon Changing 
and Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Kung, from YMAA Publication Center. Here we will discuss 
regulating the Essence in the internal kidneys. 



11-2. Strengthening Your Kidneys 


In order to regulate your Original Essence, you must first take care of its residence, the kidneys, so 
that the Essence will be protected. The first step to strengthening the kidneys is to keep them healthy. 
This is called “Gu Shen” (31 ff-), which means “to firm and to solidify the kidneys.” To strengthen the 
kidneys is called “Qiang Shen” If ). 



To Firm and to Strengthen the Kidneys (Gu Shen and Qiang Shen, r*J > $ ff) 


Several thousand years of study and experimentation have yielded many ways to maintain the 
health of and strengthen the kidneys. All of them work by maintaining the Qi in the kidneys at the 
proper level. In order to do this you need to know how the kidneys are affected by weather, food, and 
emotions (Table 11-1). 



Kidneys and the Weather 


Your kidneys are Yin organs. When the weather is cold, especially during the winter, the 
surrounding air is also Yin, and the Qi level of the kidneys is diminished. When this happens, the Qi 
flow will be sluggish and the back will become sore and ache, especially the lower back. It is 
therefore important that the kidney area be protected so that Qi will not be lost out of your body. The 
best method is to wear warm clothes, especially around your waist. In addition, you should learn a 
few massage techniques to improve Qi circulation in the kidney area and to use the Qi in your hands 
to nourish the kidneys. We will now discuss a few massage techniques which are commonly used in 
Qigong. 


Table 11-1. Table of Correspondences associated with the Five Phases 



WOOD -h 

fife k. 

EARTH L 

METAl £ 

WATER ^ 

Direction 


South 

Center 

West 

North 

Season 

Spt'mq 

Summer 

Long Suittrirciz 

Autumn 

Winter 

Climactic Condition 

Wind 

Summer Heat 

Dampness 

Dryness 

Cold 

Process 

ftlrth 

Growth 

Transformation 

Harvest 

Storage 

Color 

Green 

Red 

Yellow 

White 

Black 

Taste 

Sour 

Sitter 

Sweet 

Pungent 

Salty 

Smefl 

Goatfsh 

Burning 

Ftagrant 

Rank 

Rotten 

Yin Organ 

Liver 

Heart 

Spleen 

Lungs 

Kidneys 

Yang Organ 

Gall GJirfcfcr 

Small Intestine 

Stomach 

■Largo Intcstrne 

Bladder 

Opening 

Eyes 

Tongue 

Mouth 

Nose 

Ears 

Trssye 

Sin*wS 

Blood Vztivh 

Flesh 

SMnMMw 

Eoju. a S 

Emotion 

Anger 

Ha ppirwss 

Pensrveness 

Sadness 

Fear 

Hurrum Sound 

Shout 

L4i*0Mer 

Sons 


GiiWin 


Massaging the Kidneys Directly. This is the most common technique. Use the center of your 
palms to rub the back over the kidneys with a circular motion. The tops of both circles should move 
inward toward each other. There is a Qi gate or cavity called Laogong (P-8)(# ‘t’) in the center of 
your palm (Figure 11-1). This cavity belongs to the Pericardium. The Pericardium includes the blood 
vessel which enters into the heart and the membranous sac which encloses the heart. In the Chinese 
medical theory of the five elements, the heart is classified as Fire and the kidneys are classified as 
Water. 

Therefore, when you use the center of your palms to massage the kidneys, you are using fire to 
warm up the water, and are therefore nourishing the kidneys. When you massage the kidneys with a 
circular motion, the top of the motion should be inward (Figure 11-2) in order to nourish the 
kidneys. If you rub in the opposite direction, you are spreading the Qi away. When you rub the 
kidneys, you do not have to press heavily. Place your hands on the skin firmly and circle. In just a 
few minutes or so, you will feel the Qi inside near the kidneys circulating in the same direction. This 
means that you have improved the Qi circulation there. Naturally, you will be more relaxed and the 
massage will be more effective if someone else can massage you. This direct massage is very 
effective and useful in winter time. Please remember that you should warm up your hands first; cold 
hands will drain Qi from the kidneys. 

Massaging the Bubbling Wells. Massaging the Bubbling Well cavities (Yongquan, K- 


1,?3 & ((Figure 11-3) is probably the second best techniques in nourishing the Qi and improving the 
Qi circulation around the kidneys. The Bubbling Well cavities belong to the Kidney Qi Channel. 
Usually the thumb is used to massage these two cavities with a circular motion (Figure 11-4). You 
may also use the center of your palm to rub the bottom of your feet (Figure 11-5). Alternatively, you 
may rub your palms against each other first until they are very warm, then place the centers of your 
palms (Laogong cavities) on the top of the Bubbling Well cavities. In this case, you are using the 
Heart Fire to nourish the kidney water. 

Figure 11-1. The Laogong cavity (P-8) 



Figure 1 1-2. Massaging the kidneys 



Massaging with Movement. Massaging the kidneys with movement is a common Wai Dan Qigong 
practice, and is used in such exercises as “The Eight Pieces of Brocade” (Ba Duan JinA&lfl). The 
method is simple and very effective. Generally, there are two major movements which are able to 
massage the kidneys and improve the kidneys’ Qi circulation. The first movement is bending 
forward (Figure 11-6). This stretches and tenses the two major sets of muscles on the sides of the 
spine, and presses down on the kidneys which are beneath them. You should stay there for about five 
seconds and then straighten your body. This releases the pressure on the kidneys and lets them return 
to their original state. Doing these movements repeatedly massages the kidneys. 

The second movement is twisting your upper body to the sides (Figure 11-7). Though the muscles 
are stretched differently than in the preceding exercise, the principle and effect are the same. This 
movement, in addition to massaging the kidneys, also loosens the entire spine and the back muscles, 
and increases Qi circulation in the Governing Qi Vessel (Du Mai,’U‘^) in the back. You may also 
combine the last two movements to massage your kidneys (Figure 11-8). 


The Kidneys and Food 


In order to maintain your health and lengthen your life, you must always be concerned with what 
you eat. Everything you eat will be converted into Qi and nourish your body. According to Chinese 
medicine, too much acidic food can make your body too Yang, and too much alkaline food can make 
it too Yin. For example, eating too much acidic food will increase heartburn, and soft drinks will 
cool down the fire and body heat. Different kinds of food will place stress on different organs. For 
example, too much alcohol will increase the working load and stress on your liver. 

Figure 11-3. The Yongquan cavity (K-l) 



Figure 1 1-4. Massaging the Yongquan cavity with the thumb 



Figure 11-5. Massaging the Yongquan cavity with the hand 



Figure 11-6. Bend forward to massage the kidney 



Figure 11-7. Twist sideways to massage the kidneys 



Figure 11-8. Twist and bend to massage the kidneys 



There are also several foods which, when eaten to excess, will affect the condition of your 
kidneys. For example, too much salt will weaken your kidneys, so you should moderate the amount 
of salt you eat, especially as you get older. Experience has also shown that eating too much eggplant 
will weaken your kidneys. Ginseng is good for the kidneys in the wintertime, but it is not as good in 
the summer since you always have enough Qi to nourish the kidneys then. Many Chinese herbalists 
have studied and experimented with different prescriptions of herbs for different organs. We will 
leave this subject to a more qualified author. 


The Kidneys and Emotions 


From Table 11-1 you can also see that your emotions are closely related to the condition of your 
organs. In order to protect your kidneys, you should avoid fear. Fear originates in your mind. You 
should understand that fear will not solve any problems. You must face your problems and find the 
solutions. Once your mind is clear, you will know how to avoid situations which cause you fear. This 
is the process of regulating your mind, and is the way to maintain your kidneys in good condition. 



11-3. Regulating the Essence (Tiao Jing, iq**) 


The above discussion concentrated on how to protect the residence of your Essence. Now we must 
discuss how to regulate the Essence itself. To regulate the Essence is to convert it into Qi in the most 
efficient way, and to conserve the use of the Essence. This is a very broad subject, and it is difficult 
to say which is the best way to conserve your Essence, since it depends on individual lifestyles and 
habits. However, we will discuss some of the most common methods which might give you a deeper 
understanding of regulating your Essence. 



Increasing the Efficiency of the Conversion of Essence into Qi 


Abdominal Exercises. It is very important in Qigong training to know how to lead the Qi which 
was converted from Original Essence to its residence, the Lower Dan Tian. The trick to this is 
abdominal exercises. When you move your lower abdomen in and out in coordination with your 
breathing, the muscles need more Qi than they normally do. The muscles therefore draw in both the 
Post-birth Qi which was converted from the Essence of food and air, and the Pre-birth Qi which was 
converted from your Original Essence in the kidneys. The Qi which the muscles don’t need is stored 
in the Dan Tian for future use. 

According to Chinese acupuncture, there are two cavities called Shenshu (B -23 iff) (Kidney 
Doors) or Jingmen (Essence Doors,*f fT) located on your back (Figure 11-9). They are the gates used 
to regulate the Qi level of the kidneys. Whenever the Qi level is too Yang in the kidneys, Qi will leak 
out of your body through these two doors. Normally, when you are young, your Essence is strong, 
fresh, and vigorous, and you have an abundant supply of Qi. Some of this Qi will leak out through 
these two gates and be wasted. One way to reduce this Qi leakage is to lead it to the front with 
abdominal exercises and store it in the Dan Tian. 

After you have practiced a lot of Qigong you will develop the ability to lead the Qi from the 
kidneys to the Lower Dan Tian simply by thinking or meditating about it. At this time, the physical 
abdominal exercises will no longer be necessary. 

Protecting the Essence Doors. Not only should you know how to lead Qi to the Dan Tian, you 
should also know how to protect the Essence Doors, especially during the winter. As mentioned 
earlier, Chinese medicine classifies the kidneys as Yin. In the winter the surrounding air is also Yin, 
in fact it is more Yin than the kidneys. Because of this, the Qi in the kidneys will leak out into the 
air. If you want to prevent this, you must dress warmly, and be especially careful to keep the kidney 
area warm. Often Qigong practitioners will massage the kidney doors to warm the kidneys and 
increase the conversion of Qi, and at the same time use abdominal exercises or concentration to lead 
the Qi forward to be stored in the Dan Tian. You should remember that you will be strong and 
healthy only when your Dan Tian and Qi reservoirs are full. 

Massaging the Kidneys and the Bubbling Well Cavities. Massaging the kidneys and the Bubbling 
Well cavities improves and smoothes the Qi circulation in the kid-neys, and keeps them functioning 
at high efficiency. It also improves the efficiency of the Jing and Qi conversion. This has been 
covered in the previous section. 


Figure 11-9. The Shenshu cavities 




Marrow/Brain Washing Training. In Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong, the Essence of the testicles 
or ovaries is converted into Qi. Although the testicles or ovaries are not the internal kidneys 
themselves, they are closely related to them. Normally, you may increase the Jing to Qi conversion 
of the internal kidneys through Marrow/Brain Washing practices which work with the testicles and 
ovaries. Many techniques are used to stimulate the sexual organs and increase the production of 
Essence. Once the Essence is full, it is converted into Qi and used to fill up the Qi reservoirs in the 
legs. This Qi is then led up through the spinal cord to nourish the brain. This has been discussed in 
more detail in the second volume of the YMAA Qigong book series: Muscle/Tendon Changing and 
Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Kung. 


Conserving Your Essence (or Qi) 


Conserving your Essence means abusing neither it nor the Qi which was converted from it. If you 
waste an excessive amount of Qi, the Qi in your body will be deficient because the conversion 
process of Essence into Qi is very slow. One of the most serious ways that a man can abuse his Qi 
and Essence is through too much sexual activity. Too much sex drains Qi out of your Qi reservoirs 
and lowers the level of Qi in the whole body. Since Essence must be converted into Qi to replace the 
loss, you also decrease your supply of Essence. 

In Chinese medical science, it is believed that sperm is a product of the Essence which is stored in 
the testicles (sperm is called Jing Zi, which means “the sons of essence,”^ .). Qi is required to 
produce sperm and hormones from your Essence. After you have sex, it takes at least three days for 
the Qi nourishment of the groin to reach its normal level. This is why, in traditional training, it is 
urged that the practitioners not practice Qigong (especially Nei Dan, which involves the lower 
abdominal area) for at least three to four days after sexual activity. After the Qi has recovered its 
normal level, conservatively speaking, it will take about one week for the normal male to replenish 
his supply of sperm Essence. In ejaculation, Qi is drained out of the man’s reservoirs, especially in 
the legs, and is passed into the woman’s body. Roughly estimated, a man might lose about 40% of 
his Qi with one ejaculation, and if he has another ejaculation soon after, he will lose 40% of the 
remaining Qi. Naturally, this figure varies from person to person. 

Women do not have to worry about losing Qi. As a matter of fact, they receive the man’s Qi and 
use it to nourish their body. However, there are some Qigong techniques whereby the man retains his 
Qi and makes his body’s Qi level lower than the woman’s. In this case, the man is the one who 
benefits. There are a number of books available on Daoist sexual practices which can be consulted 
for further information. 



CHAPTER 12 


Regulating the Qi (Tiao Qi)^J It 


12-1. Introduction 


If you take a look at your whole being, you will see how your body is made up of a number of parts: 
1. Physical body (including water); 2. Air (mainly Oxygen); 3. Mind (Xin and Yi); 4. Qi; and 5. 
Shen. All of these five elements are closely related and cannot be separated. Among these five, Qi is 
the energy which makes the other four function. Whenever the Qi flow is stagnant or stops, you will 
sicken and die. For this reason, one of the major goals of Qigong training is to regulate the Qi in your 
body. When Qi flows normally and smoothly, all the other elements will be well-nourished and will 
retain their normal, healthy condition, and you can expect to live a long time. 

In Qigong practice, before you can regulate your Qi you must first regulate your body, breath, and 
mind. If you compare your body to a battlefield, then your mind is like the general who generates 
ideas and controls the situation, and your breathing is his strategy. Your Qi is like the soldiers who 
are led to various places on the battlefield. Your Essence is like the qualitative background of your 
soldiers. For example, if your soldiers are well educated, highly disciplined, and strong of body, you 
will have a strong army. In addition to this, in order to win a battle, you and your soldiers must also 
have high morale. This morale is your Shen. All of these elements are necessary, and all must be 
coordinated with each other if you are to win the war against sickness and aging. 

If you want to arrange your soldiers most effectively for battle, you must know which area of the 
battlefield is most important, and the points at which you are vulnerable (where your Qi is deficient) 
and need to send reinforcements. If you have more soldiers than you need in one area (excessive Qi), 
then you can send them somewhere else where the ranks are thin. As a general, you must also know 
how many soldiers are available for the battle, and how many you will need for protecting yourself 
and your headquarters. To be successful, not only do you need good strategy (breathing), but you 
also need to communicate effectively with your troops, or all of your strategy will be in vain. When 
your Yi (the general) knows how to regulate the body (knows the battlefield), how to regulate the 
breathing (set up the strategy), and how to effectively regulate the Qi (direct your soldiers), you will 
be able to reach the final goal of Qigong training. 



12-2. What Qi Should be Regulated? 


As discussed in the third chapter, Qi can be classified into many different categories according to 
their origins or according to the roles they play in the body. According to the origin of the Qi, the Qi 
can be identified as Pre-birth (or Original) Qi, or Post-birth Qi. Pre-birth Qi is converted from the 
Original Essence you inherited from your parents, while the Post-birth Qi is converted from the food 
and air you take in. The first step in regulating the quality of your Qi is regulating your Essence, 
which was discussed in a previous chapter. The next step is regulating the Qi according to its 
function. From this point of view, you have both “Managing Qi” and “Guardian Qi.” 



Managing Qi (Ying Qi, £ &.) 


Regulating the Qi in the Eight Vessels and Twelve Qi Channels. The first task in regulating the 
Managing Qi is to regulate the Qi supply to the twelve internal organs through the 12 primary Qi 
channels. In order to reach this goal, you must also learn to regulate the Qi in your eight Qi vessels. 
To continue with the battlefield analogy, the twelve internal organs are like a line of twelve forts, 
and your eight vessels are like the eight training camps behind the lines which supply soldiers to the 
front line. In the front line, if any one of the forts is lost, the others are placed in jeopardy, and the 
whole line may be lost. It is therefore important to keep the right number of troops in each fort so 
that the whole arrangement can function efficiently. Both quality and quantity are important in this. 

Among these twelve forts are six which are considered positive (Yang). These are the nourishing 
and absorbing systems, and handle the digestive and absorptive functions. These six Yang organs are 
the Stomach, Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Urinary Bladder, Gall Bladder, and Triple Burner. The 
other six organs are considered negative (Yin), and are responsible for storing the body’s Essence 
and maintaining life. These organs are the Lungs, Heart, Kidneys, Liver, Spleen, and Pericardium 
(although the Lungs absorb oxygen, Chinese medicine considers them to be one of the life managing 
organs). 

Normally, the Yang organs have more Qi than the Yin organs. Five of the Yin organs (excluding 
the Pericardium) are considered the most important organs, and determine whether you win or lose 
the battle for your health. They decide your life and death. You must regulate their Qi first. In 
Qigong it is said “Wu Qi Chao Yuan” (Jl jMfl *t), which means to lead the “Five Qi’s to their 
Origins.” This means that in order to reach the goal of health, you must regulate the Qi in these five 
organs to its original levels. Only then will they function properly, and degeneration be kept to a 
minimum. 

Nourishing the Brain and Shen with Qi. The second task in regulating the Managing Qi is 
regulating the Qi supply to the top of your head to nourish your brain and Shen. In Qigong practice, 
your brain and the Shen are considered to be the headquarters of your thinking and Qi. If you do not 
have the best personnel and facilities in your headquarters, it will not function well, and the whole 
body will be unhealthy. Your brain generates the Yi, which is like a general, and your Shen is like 
the morale which is able to raise the soldiers’ fighting spirit. It is this Shen which enables the entire 
fighting unit to work and communicate in the most efficient way. 

In Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong, it is believed that the brain and the Shen are the most 
important factors in maintaining health and lengthening life. If you are able to nourish your brain 
and Shen with Qi constantly, you will be able to direct your Qi to regulate the entire body, and will 
have won most of the battle. 

Guardian Qi (Wei Qi, ® ^ .). Regulating the Guardian Qi is different from regulating the Qi which 
circulates in the twelve channels and the Qi which nourishes the brain. When you regulate your 
Guardian Qi, you are regulating the Qi out from the Qi channels to the surface of the skin. This 
means you lead the Qi outward to the surface of your skin and inward to the bones. 

The function of your Guardian Qi is to generate a Qi shield around you to prevent any negative 
influences from invading your body. The size of your Qi shield is adjusted according to the weather 
and the environment around you. If you are able to keep this Qi shield strong, the Qi will smoothly 
reach out to your hair and beyond, and your hair and skin will stay healthy. 

The Qi should also be led inside so that it penetrates even the bone marrow. The marrow 
manufactures blood cells. When your marrow has plenty of Qi, it will produce fresh and healthy 
blood cells which will keep your whole body functioning optimally and protect it internally. 



12-3. Regulating the Qi (Tiao Qi, 


Regulating the Qi is one of the main goals of Qigong training. Regulating includes adjusting, 
protecting, keeping, and raising. You can see that the definition of regulating the Qi is very wide and 
the purposes are varied. Many Qigong styles have been created and developed to reach the different 
goals of Qi cultivation. To scholars, regulating means keeping and protecting the Qi circulation in 
the body. To medical doctors, regulating means adjusting and correcting the Qi level. To martial 
artists, regulating means concentrating, and leading the Qi to energize the muscles more efficiently. 
To Buddhists, regulating means protecting, nourishing, and cultivating. To Daoists, regulating 
means building up, raising, training, and disciplining. 

Although when you practice one category of Qigong you also cover some of the training done by 
other categories, the emphasis is different. For example, if you learn to regulate the Qi from a 
medical Qigong style, although you also reach the goal of maintaining health and training to build up 
your Qi, you will be using methods designed mainly for curing illnesses. Therefore, in order to learn 
how to regulate Qi, you should know what your goal is, and how deeply you would like to enter. 
Then, you will be able to decide which category you want to learn. 

Nobody knows your body and its inner workings better than you do. After all, you live in it, and 
you are the only one who is able to feel it directly. Therefore, you are the one who is best qualified to 
judge which Qigong style is the most beneficial for you. If you are a Qigong beginner, I suggest that 
you start with one of the easier systems developed by scholars and medical doctors, such as “The 
Eight Pieces of Brocade” or “Five Animal Sports.” They are easier to understand, learn, and 
experience without incurring any potential of serious danger. Training in these systems will teach 
you the “why,” “what,” and “how.” For example, by studying scholarly Qigong you may grasp the 
idea of regulating the mind, and from practicing medical Qigong you may come to understand more 
clearly how to regulate your body. It does not matter which Qigong style you have decided to train 
deeply. Before you regulate your Qi, you must always regulate your body, breathing, and mind. 
Once you have gained the experience and understood the theory, you will be able to understand the 
deeper martial or religious Qigong such as “Small Circulation,” “Grand Circulation,” or 
“Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong” more easily. 

In this section, I believe that we should first discuss two major subjects before going on to the 
general concepts of regulating the Qi. These two subjects are: A. The communication between your 
Yi and Qi; and B. Two general attitudes toward regulating the Qi. 

Communication Between Yi and Qi. Learning how to open communications between your Yi and 
Qi is probably the most crucial factor in successful Qigong training. There are two ways that Qi 
flows in your body. One of them is the natural, automatic circulation which is responsible for the 
internal functioning of the body. This circulation does not need your conscious attention. For 
example, you do not need your Yi to lead the Qi to the organs to keep them functioning. This 
happens naturally and automatically. However, if you desire to lift an object, first your Yi must 
generate the idea of lifting, and this idea or intention will lead Qi to the arms to energize the muscles. 
You understand already that the muscles do not function without Qi, any more than an electric fan 
will run without electric current. 

Regardless of which purpose a Qigong practitioner is training for, first he must learn how to 
increase the communication between his Yi and Qi. Communication means not only that your Yi is 
leading the Qi — your Yi must also feel or sense what is going on with the Qi. This mutual 
interaction allows you to understand the Qi situation. It is commonly said in internal arts society that 
“First, you must listen carefully, then you will be able to understand.” “Listen” here means to “feel” 



or to “sense.” Only if your Yi is able to communicate and understand the situation, will you be able 
to regulate the Qi. It is just like in a battle; the general in his headquarters must be able to 
communicate efficiently with his soldiers, otherwise he will not be able to apply his strategy. 

In Qigong, in order for your Yi to communicate with your Qi, you must first regulate your body, 
your breathing, and your mind. These three prerequisites are the major paths to regulating your Qi. 
After you have regulated these three elements, the communication between your mind and Qi will 
happen automatically and naturally. At first, your mind is able to feel or even sense the Qi flow. 
After you have been doing this for a while, you start to understand the Qi. It is as if you are learning 
a new language. The more you practice and experience it, the more you will be familiar with it and 
understand it. Only then is your mind able to direct and lead it. 

Two Attitudes toward Regulating the Qi. In order to regulate your Qi so that it moves smoothly 
and in the correct paths, you need more than just efficient Yi-Qi communication. You also need to 
know how to generate Qi. If you do not have enough Qi in your body, how can you regulate it? In a 
battle, if you do not have enough soldiers to carry out your strategy, you have already lost. 

In Chinese Qigong society, there are two major attitudes in regulating the Qi. Both of them have 
their own theories, disadvantages, and advantages. From these two different viewpoints were 
developed two major approaches to regulating the Qi. One is called “Yang Qi” (#&) and the other is 
called “Lian Qi” (&& ). Yang means to gradually raise, nourish, keep, and protect; while Lian means 
to refine, train, build, and strengthen. According to analysis of the available documents, it seems that 
the Scholars and the Buddhists favor Yang Qi, with the Buddhists becoming the authorities in both 
theory and training, while the Daoists and martial artists train more Lian Qi which, in regard to 
health, is considered more advanced. It is not surprising that medical Qigong exercises include both, 
and vary according to training purposes. 

In practicing regulating the Qi, it is crucial to increase the quantity of Qi while maintaining a 
neutral state in the body. As you know, excess (Yang) or deficient (Yin) Qi will cause health 
problems and speed up aging. It is important, therefore, to learn how to fill up the Qi reservoirs 
(eight Qi vessels) without letting this abundant Qi overflow into the twelve Qi channels. In the Yang 
Qi training, the scholars and Buddhists practice the ways of nursing and protecting the Qi first. Then 
they learn to gradually raise or cultivate the Qi to a healthier level. This gentle and conservative 
method is meant to maintain a healthy Qi flow without significantly affecting the Qi level and the 
natural circulation. This training is especially important when the practitioners are getting old and 
the Qi level in the reservoirs is lower. 

In Lian Qi training, the Daoists work on training and refining their Qi, and also on strengthening 
or increasing the Qi level in the Qi reservoirs. Daoist Qigong practitioners believe that in order to 
obtain the goal of longevity, not only must you maintain smooth Qi flow, but you must also increase 
the Qi level to strengthen the physical organs. They believe that the quality and strength of your 
physical body can be improved by nourishing the Qi correctly. 

Your body is like an electrically powered machine in that it needs current to run, and if you 
continually run an inadequate current through it, it will deteriorate quickly. However, your body is 
different from a machine in that if you gradually increase the amount of current, your body will 
adjust to the current, and will become stronger and start to function better. It is just like if you are 
able to run five miles a day and do so on a regular basis, you will maintain your health and a certain 
amount of strength. This is the scholarly and Buddhist way. However, if you gradually increase the 
distance as time goes on, your body will readjust itself to fit the new requirement, and your 
conditioning will improve. This is the Daoist way. 

You can see that the Scholarly and Buddhist way is gentle and more conservative, while the 
Daoist way is more active. Sometimes the Daoist training methods are more difficult and dangerous 
than those of the Buddhists. They always need to keep track of what is happening in their physical 



bodies as they train, and be careful that the Qi they have built up is not mishandled and does not 
move the wrong way. 

Beginners in Qigong should first learn how to keep their Qi flowing smoothly. Only after you 
understand yourself and Qigong theory should you start training gradually to refine and train your Qi 
to a higher level. This normally takes at least ten years of correct practice under the instruction of a 
qualified master. 



How to Regulate the Qi 


Every Qigong style has its own unique methods for regulating the Qi. Because regulating the Qi is 
one of the final goals of Qigong, methodology will be the major subject when we introduce the 
different Qigong styles in the future. In order to help you grasp the general theory of how to regulate 
Qi, we will introduce the general concepts of regulating your Managing Qi, Guardian Qi, and the 
five organs’ Qi. 



Regulating the Managing Qi 


1. Qi Vessels and Channels. One of the goals of regulating the Managing Qi involves 
regulating the Qi in the eight vessels and twelve primary Qi channels. The key 
targets of the regulating are keeping the Qi vessels full, and keeping the Qi 
circulating in the twelve channels smoothly with the right Qi level. 

Though many scholarly and medical Qigong styles studied this subject, it was 
probably not until about 500 A.D. that specific and deep training was introduced. 
This was done by Da Mo in his Yi Jin Jing (Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic). He 
was most concerned with two of the eight vessels, the Conception and Governing 
Vessels. It is believed that these two vessels govern the twelve Qi channels, and so 
the “Small Circulation” (Xiao Zhou Tian,T Pi £. ), was developed to train them. 
Once you have completed the training of the small circulation, you will then train 
the “Grand Circulation” (Da Zhou Tian,ktfl A.) which will help you to open up all 
of the blockages along the twelve channels. This will improve the smooth 
circulation of the Qi significantly and, therefore, help you to reach the goal of 
strengthening your physical body. 

Although after Da Mo numerous styles were created to achieve the same purpose, 
they still follow the same training theory and principles. 

2. Brain and Shen. The brain is the headquarters and the Shen (spirit) is the Qi control 
center of your whole being. Therefore, keeping them functioning normally is the 
key to health and the door to increasing your longevity. In order to regulate your 
Managing Qi, you must first regulate its headquarters. For this reason, Da Mo 
passed down a training methods in “Xi Sui Jing” (Marrow/Brain Washing Classic). 
In Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong training, you learn how to fill up the Qi in the 
other six vessels. It also teaches you how to lead Qi to your head to nourish your 
brain and Shen. We discussed Marrow/Brain Washing training briefly in chapter 6. 
For a detailed discussion, see the book: Muscle/Tendon Changing and 
Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Kung. 



Regulating the Guardian Qi 


Though regulating the Guardian Qi is not considered as critical as regulating the Managing Qi, it 
still plays an important role in Qigong training. The target of regulating the Guardian Qi is to 
strengthen the Qi circulation to your skin to generate a Qi shield against negative influences and to 
maintain healthy growth of your hair and nails. 

Guardian Qi training is found in both Wai Dan and Nei Dan. There are several common methods: 

1. Massage. Massage is the easiest way. It increases Qi circulation near the skin and 
therefore leads Qi to the skin. 

2. Slapping. Though slapping is part of massage, there are several exercises which 
particularly emphasize the effectiveness of slapping or lightly beating the skin, 
which stimulates and leads Qi to the skin. 

3. Physical Exercise. Physical exercise is probably the most common method. When 
you move or exercise, an abundance of Qi is led to the extremities to energize the 
muscles. Afterwards, the excess Qi moves out through the skin, increasing the Qi 
circulation there, and finally dissipates into the surrounding air. When you do this, 
you normally exercise until you start sweating, which indicates that Qi has been led 
to the skin and is energizing the pores. 

4. Internal Qi Expansion. Internal Qi expansion is the hardest, but probably the most 
effective way to lead Qi to the skin to generate a Qi shield. This is the method 
which Qigong practitioners use. There are many ways to do it. For example, when 
you have achieved a certain degree of mental concentration, you may imagine that 
your body is on fire. You will begin to feel warm, and this feeling and the idea of 
strengthening your Qi shield will lead Qi to the skin. Another way is to imagine 
that you are a beach ball. As you inhale and exhale, imagine that the ball is 
shrinking and expanding. After training for a while, you will feel that when you 
exhale your body expands and all of the pores open. This training will be discussed 
more thoroughly in a later volume. 



Regulating the Qi of the Five Organs 


Regardless of which style of Qigong you use to reach the goal of health and longevity, they all 
teach how to regulate the organ Qi, especially of the five Yin organs (lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, and 
spleen). 

When you regulate your organ Qi, your mind must be able to understand the condition of each 
organ. In order to do this, your body must be able to relax deep into the organs so that the Qi can 
flow smoothly there. Also, your meditative mind must be able to sense and communicate with the 
organs. 

There are many ways to regulate the organ Qi. Wai Dan uses certain movements to affect specific 
organs. For example, you can bend forward so that the back muscles press down on the kidneys, and 
then straighten up so that the pressure is released. This massages the kidneys and increases the Qi 
circulation. 

In Nei Dan, you use your mind to lead Qi to the organs. You need to be able to feel and sense the 
condition of the organs, and you also have to understand the relationships between the five organs, 
the five elements, and the emotions. For example, the liver belongs to the element Wood and is 
related to the emotion anger. Whenever you are angry, the liver becomes tense and the normal Qi 
circulation is upset. Your heart belongs to the element Fire and is related to the emotion happiness. 
When you are too happy you become very excited. This brings an excess of Qi to the heart and may 
cause problems. You can see that you have to regulate your emotional mind before you can use your 
Yi to regulate the Qi in your organs. For example, if you are very excited and your heart is beating 
too rapidly, put your mind on your lungs and breathe deeply. This will draw the excess Qi from the 
heart and cool it down. You can see that Nei Dan is much harder than Wai Dan. 

Diet is also useful in regulating the organ Qi. For example, too much alcohol will make your liver, 
heart, and lungs too Yang. Tobacco and drugs will make the Qi circulation in your lungs stagnant. 
Table 1 1-1 explains the relationship between the properties of food and your organs. The easiest way 
to regulate your Qi is by controlling your diet. 



CHAPTER 13 


Regulating the Spirit (Tiao Shen) 



13-1. Introduction 


There is one thing which is supremely important in battle, and that is fighting spirit. You may have 
the best general who knows the battlefield well and is also an expert strategist, but if his soldiers do 
not have high fighting spirit (morale), he may still lose. Remember, spirit is the center and the root of 
a fight. When you keep this center, one soldier can be equal to ten soldiers. When his spirit is high, a 
soldier will obey his orders accurately and willingly, and his general will be able to control the 
situation efficiently. In a battle, in order for a soldier to have this kind of morale, he must know how 
to fight, why he is fighting, and what he can expect after the fight. Knowing what he is doing and 
why will raise his spirit, strengthen his will, and increase his patience and endurance. 

It is the same with Qigong training. In order to reach the final goal, you must have three basic 
moral virtues: will, patience, and endurance. You must also know what, why, and how. Only then 
will you be able to be sure of your target and know what you are doing. 

Shen, which is the Chinese term for spirit, originates from Yi (the wisdom mind). When the Yi is 
firm, Shen will be steady and calm. When Shen is strong, the Yi is firm. Shen is the mental part of a 
soldier. When Shen is high, the Qi is strong and easily directed. When the Qi is strong, Shen is also 
strong. 

In Qigong training, it is said: “Yi Shen Yu Qi” (# which means to use your Shen to govern 

the Qi. Shen is thought of as the headquarters which controls the movement of Qi, and it is able to 
raise or calm the Qi and move it wherever you desire. You may have noticed that when your spirit is 
high, you can somehow find enough energy to do just about anything. If your Yi is also concentrated 
and is able to control your Shen at its residence, your judgment will be clear and calm. It is believed 
in Qigong training that when your Shen is properly trained it can lead your mind to supernatural 
states. 

It is also believed that when your Shen is high it is able to lead the Qi smoothly and fluidly to an 
injured place to speed healing. We have all heard of cases where the doctor felt that a patient was so 
sick that he would not be able to last for a month. The patient, however, felt differently, and was 
determined to survive. His spirit was so high that, through sheer force of will, he was able to far 
outlast the doctor’s prognosis. In such cases, some patients even experience miraculous cures. 
According to Qigong theory, this patient’s spirit led Qi to the damaged place and overcame the 
physical damage. 

Many people have experienced another phenomenon. A man’s boss tells him that if he completes a 
big project in a very limited time, he will get a week’s vacation. The man concentrates totally on the 
project, working day and night with very little sleep. He is very enthusiastic about the job, finding it 
challenging and exciting, and is surprised at how healthy and energetic he feels. Finally the job is 
done. When the man finally gets to relax on his vacation, suddenly he becomes sick. According to 
Qigong theory, this is easy to explain. When you are deeply involved in something for which you are 
responsible, your spirit is high. This high spirit energizes the Qi in your body so that it flows strongly 
and smoothly and your Guardian Qi is strong. This keeps you from getting sick. Once you relax, 
your spirit is lowered and your Qi is not energized any more. Sickness will then be able to break 
through the shield of your Guardian Qi. Most often you catch a cold. 

These two examples should give you an idea of how the Shen is able to affect your health and 
longevity. Because it plays such an important role, Shen training is considered one of the final stages 
of Qigong. Training and refining your Shen into a supernatural state is a necessary step in achieving 
Daoist enlightenment and Buddhahood. 



13-2. Regulating the Spirit (Tiao Shen) 


In general, there are four major tasks in regulating your Shen: 1. learning how to raise your Shen; 
2. how to keep it at its residence and strengthen it; 3. how to coordinate it with your breathing; and 
finally, 4. how to use your Shen to direct your Qi effectively. All of these are called “Lian Shen” by 
Daoist Qigong practitioners. Lian means to refine, to train, or to discipline. In religious Qigong, 
there is another ultimate goal in regulating the Shen, and that is to train it to be independent enough 
to leave the physical body. This final goal will be discussed in books discussing religious Qigong. 



Raising the Shen (Yang Shen, 4-#) 


Yang means to nourish, to raise, or to nurse. Yang Shen has been the main task for Scholars and 
Buddhists in their training to regulate the Shen. Shen needs to be nourished by Qi. Normally, the 
Fire Qi which comes from food and air is able to raise the Shen easily, however, this Fire Qi also 
increases emotional disturbance and therefore leads the Shen away from its residence. Using your 
Yi, which is nourished by the Water Qi, to raise your Shen is harder. However, if you are able to do 
it, this Shen can be stronger and more concentrated than when you use the Fire Qi. In Qigong 
practice, you are learning how to adjust your Xin and Yi to raise your Shen. If you are able to use 
your Xin and Yi properly, your Shen will be raised but not excited, and it will be able to remain at its 
residence. 

Learning how to raise the Shen the right way is almost like raising a child. You need a great 
amount of patience and perseverance. One way to raise a child is to help him restrain his attraction to 
the seven emotions and six desires. Another way is to let him keep this contact with his human 
nature, yet educate him and help him to develop his wisdom so that he can make clear judgments. It 
is a long process, and demands a lot of understanding and patience. In Qigong, raising the Shen is 
not a question of increasing your emotional excitement. This would scatter the Yi, and your Shen 
would become confused and lose its center. Yang Shen training builds a strong center for your spirit, 
and helps the spirit take control over a larger part of your life. 



Keeping the Shen in Its Residence and Training It 


After raising your Shen, you must learn how to keep it at its residence and train it. As with a child 
of a certain age, you must be able to keep his mind in the family instead of straying outside and 
running wild. Then you will be able to educate him. In Qigong training, to keep and train the Shen 
includes four major steps: 

To Protect the Shen (Shou Shen, f ft). “Shou” means “to keep and to protect.” The very beginning 
of the training involves learning how to keep your Shen at its residence. While it is relatively easy to 
raise your spirit, it is much harder to keep it in its residence. In Shou Shen training, in order to keep 
the Shen in its residence you must use your regulated mind to direct, to nurse, to watch, and to keep 
the Shen there. It is just like keeping your child at home instead of letting him leave home and run 
wild. You must be patient and control your temper (regulate your mind). You can see, therefore, that 
the first step in regulating your Shen is to regulate your Xin and Yi. If you lose your patience and 
temper, you will only make the child want to leave home again. Only when you have regulated your 
Xin and Yi will you be able to watch and to keep your Shen effectively. 

To Firm the Shen (Gu Shen, ® ^'.). “Gu” means “to solidify and to firm.” After you can keep your 
Shen in its residence, you then learn how to firm and solidify it (Gu Shen). Gu Shen means to train 
your Shen to stay at its residence willingly. After you are able to control your child in the house, you 
must make him want from his heart to stay. Only then will his mind be steady and calm. Naturally, in 
order to reach this stage, you will need a lot of love and patience to educate him until he understands 
how important it is for him to stay home and grow up normally and healthily. Qigong training 
operates on the same principle. The second step of Shen training is to make the Shen willing to stay 
in its residence. In order to do this, your mind must be able to regulate all emotional thoughts. Only 
then will your Shen be able to stay in its residence in peace. 

To Stabilize the Shen (Ding Shen, ^^i). “Ding Shen” means “to stabilize and to calm the Shen.” 
When you have brought your child into the stage of peace, he will not be as excited by and attracted 
to outside emotional distractions. In regulating your Shen you must learn to calm down the Shen so 
that it is energized but not excited. Then the mind will be peaceful and steady. 

To Focus the Shen (Ning Shen, ‘^.). “Ning” means “to concentrate, to refine, to focus, and to 
strengthen.” You can see from the above three processes that keeping, firming, and stabilizing are 
the foundation of the cultivation of your Shen. It is like a child who is able to stay at home willingly 
with a calm and steady mind. Only then will you be able to teach and train him. In Qigong, once you 
have passed these three initial steps, you will learn to condense and to focus your Shen in a tiny spot. 
The Condensing the Shen stage is where you can train the Shen to a higher spiritual state. When the 
Shen is focused in a tiny point, it is like a sunbeam which is focused through a lens. The smaller the 
point, the stronger its beam. 



Combining Shen with the Breathing 


After the Shen has been trained to a high degree, you can put it to work. The first assignment for 
your Shen is coordination with your breathing. Remember, in Qigong training your breathing carries 
out your strategy. When this strategy is directed by your Shen, it will be able to obtain maximum 
results. This is called “Shen Xi Xiang Yi” (# which means “the Shen and the breathing are 

mutually dependent.” In Qigong training, this is called “Shen Xi” (ft ■&) which means “Shen 
breathing.” At this stage, your Shen and breathing have united into one. When you have 
accomplished this, your Qi will be led most efficiently. Naturally, this is not an easy task. In order to 
reach this stage, you must have regulated your body, breathing, and mind. 



Combining Shen with Qi 


The last stage of regulating Shen for health involves learning to use the Shen to direct the 
circulation and distribution of Qi in the most efficient way. In Qigong society, this stage is called 
“Shen Qi Xiang He” (it & ), which means “the Shen and Qi combine together.” In a battle, if the 
spirit of the soldiers is kept high, their fighting ability and efficiency will be increased, and the 
strategy will be carried out more thoroughly. 

Obviously, cultivating your Shen is a long and painstaking process. There is no limit to Shen 
cultivation. The more you refine it, the higher it is able to go. In religious Qigong training, the final 
stage of regulating the Shen is to train the Shen to separate from the physical body. In order to reach 
this goal, you must first accomplish the preceding four phases of training. Only when your Shen and 
Qi are combined will the Qi nourish the Shen so that it grows and matures. We will discuss this 
subject in a later volume. 



CHAPTER 14 


Important Points in Qigong Practice 



14-1. Introduction 


Qigong is the science of working with the body’s energy field. This is something completely new for 
most people, and so you will encounter many new experiences, have many questions, and even 
experience difficulties or unusual phenomena which may lead you away from correct practice. If you 
are a beginner and have not built up a strong Qi field in your body, straying from correct practice 
may not significantly harm your health. However, if you have reached a level where you have built 
up strong Qi circulation, incorrect practice may be harmful and dangerous. You will not just stop 
making progress in your training, but you will probably also disturb your normal Qi circulation. 
Therefore, before you start training you should study the common phenomena and deviations (which 
means entering the wrong path) which many Qigong practitioners have experienced before. You 
should also study the cause of deviation and understand how to correct the mistakes. However, it is 
important for you to remember that you shouldn’t expect these things to happen. Expectation is the 
worst emotional disturbance. What will happen will happen, what won’t happen, won’t. 

In this chapter, we will first discuss the common phenomena which may be experienced by the 
Qigong beginner. This section will help the beginner to avoid confusion and to stop his mind from 
wandering. As you advance in the training, you will have many different sensations. Usually this is a 
sign that you are progressing. We will discuss some of the common sensations in the third section. 
Then we will discuss the most important subject in Qigong practice: the causes of the deviations and 
how to correct them. Finally, in the last section we will list 24 rules for Qigong practice. 



14-2. Common Experiences for Qigong Beginners 


In this section we will discuss many of the phenomena Qigong beginners often experience in 
practice. Some of these phenomena are common, and normally caused by improper posture, timing, 
training methods, or other reasons. Since most beginners cannot generate a significant amount of Qi, 
these phenomena are usually harmless. However, if you ignore these clues and continue to train 
incorrectly, you will build bad habits which may eventually bring you harm. It is therefore important 
that you pay attention to them, understand them, and study their causes. 



The Mind is Scattered and Sleepy 


The Daoist Ni Wan Zu said: “For one hundred days (of Qigong practice), prohibit sleepiness. 
Sleepiness and confusion (make the mind) scattered and disordered, and (you will finally) lose the 
real .” 1 This sentence says that when the beginner practices Qigong, he will frequently be sleepy and 
his mind will be scattered. If you do not keep this from happening, you will have lost the real way 
(Dao) of training. Having a scattered and disordered mind is one of the most common experiences of 
beginners. This happens because your Yi is not able to control your emotional Xin. Though your Yi 
is strong, your Xin is even stronger. In this case, you must first regulate your Xin and analyze the 
causes and the possible results of this disturbance. After you completely comprehend the nature and 
cause of your emotional disturbance, you will know the why, how, and what, and it will be easier for 
your Yi to control your Xin and bring you peace. Only when you do this will you be able to keep 
your mind from being confused and scattered. 

It is also common for beginners to fall asleep, especially in still meditation. One reason this 
happens is because of physical and mental fatigue. When you are tired, your spirit is low and your 
mind is disordered. If you find this happening, the best thing is to stop trying to practice, and either 
relax or take a nap. If you try to force yourself to continue, you will only do more harm than good. A 
good way to relax is to lie down comfortably and pay attention to your breathing. Every time you 
exhale, bring your relaxation to a deeper level. Pretty soon your breathing and heart beat will slow 
down, and you will feel nicely rested. After the rest, your mind will be clear and your spirit will be 
fresh. Now you will be able to raise your Shen and keep it at its residence. When you have reached 
this stage, you will find your spirit and mind centered and balanced. 


Feeling Cold 


This usually happens during still meditation. In moving Qigong exercises you are usually 
energizing your physical body, so you tend to feel warm and your body is more Yang. However, in 
still meditation you are calming your mind, slowing down your breathing, and reducing your pulse 
rate. This causes your body to be more Yin. Especially in winter, when you are in a relaxed 
meditative state your body releases energy into the surrounding air and becomes even more Yin. It is 
therefore advisable, when you meditate in the early morning or in the winter, to wear warm clothes 
and to cover your legs, especially your knees, with a blanket. 

However, sometimes you will feel cold even when you are dressed warmly and the room is a 
comfortable temperature. This is most likely caused by your mind. Your mind has a very significant 
influence on the circulation and distribution of Qi in your body. Sometimes you can feel cold 
because of nervous tension, emotional upset, or fear. Have you ever had the experience, during a hot 
summer day, of something happening which makes you suddenly afraid, and you feel a chill run 
through your body? Since your mind has such an effect on you, it is important to regulate your mind 
before you meditate, so that you are calm and steady. 



Numbness 


Numbness is very common in Qigong training. For example, when you sit for a long time in 
meditation, your blood and Qi circulation slow down, reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrition to 
your legs. This is very common with beginners. When this happens, you should not continue your 
meditation, because your concentration and relaxation will be affected. Stretch your legs and 
massage the bottoms of your feet, especially the Bubbling Well cavities. This will speed up the 
recovery of the circulation. If you meditate regularly and consistently, you will find that you can sit 
longer and longer without your legs becoming numb. This is because your body has a natural instinct 
to readjust the oxygen and nutrition supply system to fit the new situation. Normally, after six 
months of regular practice, you will be able to sit at least 30 minutes without any problem. 

Numbness will sometimes also happen in moving Qigong training while you are standing. This is 
most common when you are standing stationary for a long period of time, such as when you are 
doing the Da Mo’s Yi Jin Jing. The numbness occurs most frequently in the ankles and heels, 
because your body’s weight presses down on them and cuts down the circulation. In this case, after 
you have finished your practice, simply walk for a few minutes or rock back and forth on your heels 
and toes a few times. This will restore the circulation in a few seconds. 

There are certain Qigong styles which use stationary postures to build up Qi in specific areas, and 
later let this accumulated Qi circulate in the body. In this case, numbness and soreness are expected 
and normal. 



Soreness and Pain 


Soreness and pain are frequently caused by incorrect posture. If you do not understand the theory 
of the exercise, you may cause yourself serious injury. The joints are particularly susceptible. For 
example, the wrong posture in sitting meditation can cause back pain. If you do not correct it, you 
may even injure your spine. Another common example is the horse stance. When done incorrectly, 
the knees can be injured seriously. Therefore, before you practice you must first accurately 
understand the theory and the training methods. 

In martial Qigong training, certain parts of the body or the joints will be trained in order to 
increase their strength. In this case, soreness and pain are expected. In this type of training you must 
build your strength gradually. Normally, it will take at least six months for your muscles to grow and 
adapt to the new situation. If you are impatient and speed up the training, the weak muscles will lose 
their capacity to function normally and the ligaments around the joints will be injured. 



Half of the Body Feels Hot 


Sometimes in Qigong practice, half of your body will feel hot. It may be the left, right, upper, or 
lower half, or just one portion of your body will feel cold while the rest feels hot. This usually 
happens when you are emotionally upset, when you are sick, or when you are just recovering from 
illness. At such times your Qi is unbalanced, and if you practice Qigong then, you may interfere with 
the body’s natural efforts to achieve a new Qi balance. It is therefore very important to be aware of 
what is going on with your body and emotions when you practice Qigong. 

This imbalance will sometimes happen when your Qigong training emphasizes one side more than 
the other. It is always best to develop the Qi evenly. When Qi is developed in a balanced way, your 
Yi will also be balanced and strong. This will increase the efficiency of your training significantly. 



Headache and Eye Ache 


For a beginner, the most common cause of headache during Qigong practice is failure to keep 
your breathing smooth. For example, you may hold your breath without even noticing it. This causes 
your body to be tense, which stagnates the Qi and blood flow and reduces the oxygen supply to the 
head, causing a headache. There are times when you will want to hold your breath in Qigong 
practice, for example during certain martial practices like iron shirt training. However, as a Qigong 
beginner, you should not practice holding your breath. 

Eye ache is a common phenomenon during still meditation. There are two main reasons for eye 
ache. Sometimes, to help a student keep his mind within his body, a Qigong master will ask him to 
focus his eyes on the tip of his nose. It is said in Qigong society “Yan Guan Bi, Bi Guan Xin,” 2 
which means “the eyes watch the nose, and the nose watches the heart.” In order to keep your mind 
within your body and to avoid being distracted by what is going on around you, you should first 
restrain your vision. Once you have done this, you are able to move your mind to your heart and 
regulate your emotional mind. However, you should understand that you do this with your mind, not 
with your physical body. The actual meaning of this sentence is that first you should pay attention to 
your breathing (i.e. nose or regulating the breathing) and later pay attention to your Xin (i.e. heart or 
regulating the mind). It is a common problem that a beginner will actually use his eyes to stare at his 
nose. This is the major cause of eye ache. When you practice, your eyes may be open or closed, but 
your mind is focused on your nose (i.e. breathing). It is important to always be relaxed and 
comfortable. Any time the eye muscles are not kept relaxed, they will tense up and cause pain. 

Another time when the eyes may ache during Qigong practice is when you are training to focus 
the Shen at its residence. You should remember that when you do this you must not use force. Use 
your mind to lead the Shen to its center constantly but gently. If you use mental force to reach the 
goal, you will cause not only eye aches but also headaches. 


Trembling Body 


Body trembling is a very common phenomenon in Qigong practice. While this occurs most 
commonly in the limbs, sometimes you may also experience trembling in part of your torso. This is a 
spontaneous movement that happens without any intention on your part. There are a number of 
possible causes. One is when your Qi is redistributing itself. When you have learned how to regulate 
your body and mind during Qigong practice, you will be very relaxed, and Qi will be able to get to 
certain places more easily than ever before. This extra Qi flow may activate the muscles and cause 
them to tremble. Sometimes, during still meditation when your body is very calm and relaxed, your 
upper body will swing forward and backward by itself following your breathing. All of these 
phenomena during training are good signs. They indicate that you have had some success in 
regulating your body, breathing, and mind. 

Another cause of trembling, however, is over-training. When your muscles are over-exercised or 
overloaded for a period of time, your mind will gradually lose control of them. This will cause 
trembling, and frequently also cramping. This kind of trembling happens most often in moving 
Qigong training, especially in martial Qigong. 

The third cause of body trembling is muscle tension. When the muscles are tensed, the Qi will not 
be able to move smoothly. If this continues without improving, the Qi will be disturbed and will 
cause the muscles to tremble or cramp. If this happens, you have not reached even the most 
fundamental level of body relaxation. 

If you are practicing Qigong correctly, the body may begin to tremble by itself. You should not 
use your mind to make this happen intentionally. If you are doing this intentionally, you have lost 
track of how to regulate your mind. 



Warm and Hot Sweat 


Warm or hot sweat is normal. When you are practicing Qigong you are increasing the Qi 
circulation, which also raises the energy state of your body. Most of the time, sweating occurs during 
moving Qigong training, although it can also happen during still meditation. Many people think that 
during still meditation, since you are not moving, you should not sweat. As matter of fact, they are 
wrong. In still meditation, even though you are not moving externally, you are exercising internally. 
When the Qi increases to a higher level or higher quantity, it will appear on the surface of your skin 
and you will begin to sweat. 

When you sweat, your pores are open, and you are vulnerable to the cold air. In still meditation, 
make sure that your body is warm enough so that you do not catch cold. After you finish moving 
Qigong training, dry your body immediately and put on extra clothing if necessary. Do not expose 
your sweaty body to cold wind. 


Figure 14-1. Beating the Heavenly Drum (Ming Tian Gu) 



Fright 


Fright is one of the worst things that can happen during Qigong practice. It generally occurs for 
two reasons. The first usually happens to beginners during meditation. Sometimes in meditation your 
mind is very clear but you cannot center it. Your mind may then start to generate a fantasy or 
illusion. You may feel a cold draft and suddenly think that it is a ghost or evil spirit. Your 
imagination may come up with just about any kind of idea to disturb you. 

If you cannot regulate your mind right away, you may start to believe the illusion and become 
very scared. The danger lies in the fact that your Yi will no longer be able to lead your Qi, and your 
Qi circulation will become disturbed. If this happens during very deep meditation, you may cause 
yourself serious injury. It is therefore very important during meditation that your mind be clear and 
calm. The emotional mind must be completely controlled. 

If you experience this kind of fright, your Yi is too confused to lead your Qi correctly, so you 
should discontinue practice. There are several ways to help you collect yourself. The first one is to 
put your palms over your ears and tap your head by snapping your index fingers off the middle 
fingers (Figure 14-1). This is called “Beating the Heavenly Drum” (Ming Tian Gu,"5 &$£) and is one 
of the most common way to help your mind to find its center. Alternatively, you may drink some hot 
tea or coffee, wash your face with warm water, or take a shower. 

The second type of fright can happen when you realize that your Qi has been led into the wrong 
path. For example, suddenly your heart starts beating very fast or your head starts aching seriously. 
When this happens, your mind is usually disturbed, and you are confused or scared. If this happens, 
do not stop, calm your mind and move it away from the troublesome spot. The more you keep your 
mind on the area of concern, the more Qi will flow there and become stagnant. This will worsen the 
situation instead of help it. Once your mind is calm, use it to lead the Qi to your Lower Dan Tian. Sit 
still for a few minutes and gradually bring your mind back to your surroundings. Do not resume 
practice, but instead wait until the next session. 



Difficulty Sleeping 


It is very common for Qigong beginners to have difficulty sleeping for a while. This is simply 
because when you practice Qigong, your mind is concentrated, clear, and calm, and your spirit is 
raised and focused. This raised spirit will prevent you from falling sleep. When this happens, you 
should regulate your mind. A simple way is to pay attention to your breathing, thinking every time 
you exhale that your body is becoming more and more relaxed. Do not use your Yi to lead your Qi, 
but just breathe and relax, and soon you will fall sleep. 



Coughing 


Beginners sometimes have trouble with coughing during practice. There are several possible 
reasons. The most common reason is that the breathing is not being regulated smoothly. You may be 
breathing too fast or holding your breath. If this is the case, use your Yi to regulate the breathing 
until you do not have to regulate it anymore. 

The second possible reason is that your body is not regulated correctly. For example, if you press 
your head backward too much, the front of the throat will be tense, and will cause you to cough. 

The third possible reason is that the air is too dry. When you practice, you often increase the flow 
of air through your throat. Dry air will cause you to cough. However, if you keep the tip of your 
tongue touching the roof of your mouth, you will generate enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. 



Sexual Excitation 


It is normal to have sexual feelings and even to become sexually excited during Qigong, especially 
when practicing Nei Dan. This is because you are starting to do abdominal breathing again, and this 
increases Qi circulation in your lower body and stimulates the production of hormones in the 
testicles and ovaries. While this increases sexual desire, you should remember that you are practicing 
Qigong to increase the production of hormones and use these hormones to raise your Shen. If you 
cannot regulate your mind, and waste this extra supply of hormones in excessive sexual activity, you 
are harming your health and perhaps even shortening your life. 

Sexual excitation is especially a problem in Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong. This training teaches 
many methods of stimulating hormone production so that the hormones or Essence can be converted 
into Qi to nourish the Shen and brain. People who do not understand the training or who have a weak 
will may end up wasting what they have gained through their practice. 



14-3. Sensations Commonly Experienced in Still Meditation 


In the beginning stage of Qigong practice you learn how to regulate your body, breathing, and 
mind. Then when you start to practice Qigong, especially sitting meditation, you can enter into a 
deep level of meditation where the Qi readjusts and balances itself, reaching every little place in your 
body. When this happens, you may experience many kinds of feelings or even have visions in your 
mind. Many of these feelings cannot be experienced when you are not in meditation. The Chinese 
call these sensations “Jing Qi” (&' & ), which means “Qi scenery” or “Qi view,” because they are 
generated by the Qi. We will now discuss some of the common sensations you might experience. Do 
not expect that you will experience all of these sensations, or that everyone will experience them. It 
all depends on the individual, the time of day, and even the environment in which you are sitting. 



The “Eight Touches” (Physical and Sensory Phenomena) 


The “Ba Chu” (eight touches/^) are sensations which are often felt during Qigong practice, such 
as sensations of heat, someone touching you, or heaviness. In Chinese they are called “Chu Gan” 
(touch and feel, S A) or “Dong Chu” (moving touch,^®'). Some practitioners list these eight 
phenomena as: 1. Moving (Dong,&); 2. Itching (Yang,#.); 3. Cool (Liang, ft.); 4. Warm (Nuan,^ ); 
5. Light (Qing,^.); 6. Heavy (Zhong,t); 7. Harsh (Se,^.); and 8. Slippery (Hua,^). Other 
practitioners list a different eight: 1. Shake (Diao,#); 2. Ripple (Yi,#); 3. Cold (Leng,^.); 4. Hot 
(Re, St); 5. Float (Fu/r); 6. Sink (Chen, 11 * ); 7. Hard (Jian,^); and 8. Soft (Ruan,4fc). 

You should understand that all of these sensations are common and normal in Qigong practice. 
Even Qigong beginners will sometimes feel them. If you experience something, analyze it to 
determine the source or cause. If it is a natural phenomenon and the result of the redistribution of Qi, 
let it happen and don’t worry about it. Conversely, if any of the above phenomena occur for other 
reasons, correct the circumstances that are causing them. For example, if you feel cold because the 
room temperature is too low, either put on more clothing or turn up the thermostat. 

Do not expect these phenomena, do not look for them, and do not be worried about them. Simply 
follow nature and let it happen. Take it easy and continue your practice. Keep your mind clear and 
calm, and do not be disturbed or distracted by anything that happens. 



Sensations of Movement or Vibration 


This is a different sensation from what we mentioned above where one part of the body 
spontaneously starts to move or tremble. This sensation happens in still meditation in the Dan Tian 
area. When you train your sitting meditation for a while, you might first experience a feeling of 
warmth in your lower abdomen. After a couple of weeks you may find that the area around your Dan 
Tian starts to vibrate by itself. This means that the Qi is full at the Dan Tian and it is time for you to 
use your Yi to lead the Qi through the Small Circulation. Normally, this is the first sensation which 
people beginning sitting meditation experience. It gives you the confidence that you are practicing 
correctly and that you are making progress. 



Sensations Inside the Abdomen 


Once you feel the warmth and vibration in your Dan Tian, the abundant Qi will spread out through 
your abdomen. The motion of your abdomen as you breathe increases this Qi circulation in your 
intestines. Sometimes this causes sounds in the intestines, and the release of gas. After this happens 
for a while, you will feel warmth and other sensations in your abdomen, and you will feel the Qi 
flowing smoothly and strongly. Sometimes this may make you sweat. After you have practiced for a 
while, these sensations will disappear as all the channels in the abdomen open up and the Qi is able 
to move without any stagnation. 



The Sensation of Lightness 


After you have completed your Small Circulation, and the Qi is circulating smoothly inside your 
body, you may experience that when you enter into a deep state of meditation, your physical body 
seems to disappear, or your body feels light and airy. This is a very comfortable sensation. However, 
if you let your mind be distracted by this sensation, it will disappear. You should be aware of what is 
happening, but don’t pay attention to it. Usually, in order to reach this stage, you must have 
regulated your body into a very deep state of relaxation, where your breathing and heartbeat slow 
down to the minimum, and your mind is extremely calm and peaceful. 



White Scenery (Clouds) in the Empty Room 


Sometimes, when you have entered a deep meditative state, you will suddenly feel your physical 
body disappear and your Qi mix with the surrounding Qi. When this happens, it seems that the entire 
room is empty, and filled with a white cloud or fog. If you pay attention to this scenery, it will 
disappear immediately because your mind is not familiar with emptiness, and generates an image of 
familiar, physical scenery to fill the void. 

If you find yourself experiencing this white emptiness, just sense or feel it, do not put your 
attention on it. This scenery will happen only when your mind is completely regulated into a highly 
concentrated and relaxed state. The Daoist Wu Yi Zi said: “(If you) desire to fill the abdomen (with 
Qi), must first empty the Xin (regulate the Xin). (If you) desire to generate the White, (you) must 
first empty the room.” 3 This sentence tells you that in order to train yourself to make the Qi full in 
your abdomen, you must first have an empty Xin. That means you must regulate your Xin until there 
is no Xin. Only then will your mind be able to concentrate your Yi in your Lower Dan Tian to Start 
the Fire (build up the Qi). White here means simple, pure, clean, light, like fog, like clouds, and 
represents the disappearance of the physical body. In order to make your Qi unite with the 
surrounding Qi, you must first let go of and ignore all of the objects in your mind’s “room,” 
including your physical body. 


Six Other Sensations 


When you reach a higher level of Qigong meditation, there are six other common sensations 
which you may experience. These are: 1. Dan Tian is hot as if it were on fire; 2. The (internal) 
kidneys feel like they are boiling in water; 3. The eyes are emitting a beam of light; 4. Winds are 
being generated behind the ears; 5. An eagle is shouting behind your head; 6. Your body is energized 
and your nose trembles. These six phenomena are called the “Six Verifications” (Liu Jing,* £ ) by 
Daoist Wu, Shou-Yang (ta ^ r&), because they verify that you are following the correct approach in 
your meditation. 



Six Transportations 


When you have reached the level of regulating your Shen, your Shen will be high and its Ling (® .) 
supernatural power will be able to reach farther than any ordinary person’s. Your mind will then be 
able to communicate with the six natural powers: 

1. Seeing the Present. Your mind is so clear that it can analyze and understand events 
or incidents clearly and thoroughly. This happens because, when you have learned 
to regulate your mind, you are able to see things or events from a neutral point of 
view, without being confused by your Xin. Since most people cannot do this, you 
can see more clearly than most people. 

2. Understanding the Past and Seeing the Future. Your mind is able to understand the 
past and predict the future. Since your mind is clear, you will be able to analyze 
what has happened, understand its causes and see the results. As your experience 
with objectively analyzing the past accumulates, you will be able to see what will 
happen in the future, since people remain the same and history always repeats 
itself. 

3. Viewing the Entire Universe. When your meditation has reached the highest stage, 
your spirit is able to feel or sense the entire universe. You will (spiritually) see the 
mountains, the sky, rivers, oceans, etc. At this stage your Qi and the universe’s Qi 
have united into one and you are able to freely exchange information. This stage is 
called “unification of the heaven and human” (Tian Ren He Yi,*X£— ). 

4. Hearing the Sounds of the Universe. Through your spirit you are able to listen to 
and understand all of the sounds generated by the variations of natural Qi, 
including the wind, rain, waves, and many other things. You will also be able to 
hear spirits and communicate with them. 

5. Seeing a Person’s Destiny. After you have experienced all of the changes of the 
natural Qi field, and accumulated all of the past information related to human 
beings, you will be able to see a person’s mind, personality, and true nature, and 
this will let you see his destiny. You will even be able to see his spiritual future, 
whether it involves enjoyment (heaven) or suffering (hell). 

6. Knowing a Person’s Thoughts. Since you have energized your spirit and brain to a 
highly sensitive state, your brain will be open to a much wider band of 
wavelengths. You will be able to match wavelengths with other people’s minds, 
and see their thoughts. 

Daoist Wu Zhen Ren said: “Return to emptiness to combine with the Dao; after you have reached 
steadiness and (your spirit is) able to leave (your body), (your spirit is) able to suddenly enter, 
suddenly leave (your body). Then you are able to communicate with the six or ten (nature powers), 
and are able to transform into thousands of changes and ten thousand variations; nothing cannot be 
done.” 4 This is the stage of Buddhahood and Enlightenment, where you are able to separate your 
spirit from your body and unite with nature. 


14-4. Deviations and Corrections 


Once you are able to build up the Qi in your body, especially at the Dan Tian, if you are not 
cautious your Qi might deviate from the correct path and bring you into a dangerous situation. This 
is caused by lack of knowledge, misunderstandings, or wrong training methods. In Qigong practice, 
deviations are called “Zou Huo Ru Mo” (4 .A.AjBL), which means “Mislead the Fire and enter the 
Devil.” “Mislead the fire” means to lead the Qi into the wrong path, and “Enter the Devil” means 
that the mind enters the domain of evil. When this happens during Qigong practice, serious problems 
or injury usually result. In this section, we will discuss the causes of common Qigong deviations. 
Then we will discuss the deviations and how to correct them. 



Causes of Deviations 


The Qigong Style Trained Does Not Fit the Individual or the Circumstances. Many practitioners 
do not understand that every style of Qigong has its own special training methods and objectives. 
Each Qigong set was created by a knowledgeable Qigong master to train a specific group of people. 
For example, iron shirt Qigong is used to train people whose bodies are already stronger than the 
average person’s. If you are weak and force yourself to train iron shirt, you will encounter 
difficulties and deviations. Therefore, when you choose a Qigong style for your training, you must 
first know your body’s condition, the purpose of your training, and if the Qigong style chosen will 
help you to improve your health. Naturally, you must first have a good knowledge of each style. 
Normally, for a beginner, a knowledgeable master must help you to decide the style to practice. 
However, with Qigong styles which are used to improve one’s general health, such as “The Eight 
Pieces of Brocade” and “Five Animal Sports,” you do not have to worry too much about deviations 
caused by choosing the wrong style. Such styles were created for the average person, so you are safe 
as long as you follow the instructions. 

Lack of a Firm Mind or a Knowledgeable Teacher. The most important thing in Qigong training is 
to find a knowledgeable teacher and stay with him. Without a qualified teacher, there is a good 
chance you may be taught incorrect practices. Once you have found a good teacher, do not lose your 
patience or confidence and change to another teacher. If you do that, you may change from one 
training theory to another, which will only increase your confusion. If you train Qigong without 
patience, perseverance, confidence, and a strong will, sooner or later you will find yourself in a 
situation which is confusing, where deviations can occur. 

Anticipating Phenomena. One of the most common causes of deviation in Qigong is expectation 
of phenomena that you have heard or read about. Just because someone else has experienced 
something doesn’t mean that you will experience it also. If you expect something to happen, and 
especially if you try to make it happen, you are very likely to fall into wrong practices. In no time at 
all you will be mislead by the wrong sensations or by experiences created solely by your mind. 

The Body and Mind are Not Regulated. Many Qigong practitioners have encountered serious 
deviations caused by body tension. For example, after a long day at work, your body is tired and the 
muscles are still tense. Before practicing Qigong, you should calm down your mind, regulate your 
breathing, and help your body to relax and recover from its fatigue. Any attempt to circulate Qi when 
you are tired is dangerous. 

Deviations are also common when people circulate Qi before their minds are regulated. For 
example, if you are excited or mad, your Yi is unsteady, and it is dangerous to use it to lead your Qi. 
If you cannot regulate your mind, you should not practice. 

If you practice under either of these circumstances, your Qi can become stagnant or enter the 
wrong paths. It is very common to experience a headache or various pains in the body. You should 
remember that regulating your body, breathing, and mind are the basic requirements before you 
regulate your Qi. 

Losing Patience. It is very common for some practitioners to lose their patience during practice 
and use their Yi aggressively to lead the Qi. This is very dangerous, especially for beginners. When 
you practice Qigong, you must take your time, and be patient and confident. Your understanding and 
experience will grow with practice. When the time is right, what will happen will happen. For 
example, many Qigong beginners practice circulating Qi in the Small Circulation before they really 
know what Qi is, and before they can move their abdomens in a relaxed and easy way. This will only 
cause problems. It is like a child playing with fire before he knows what it is or what it can do. 



Mixing Imagination with the Qigong Exercises. Qigong is a science. It is not a religion or a 
superstitious belief. Imagination will lead you to the wrong path, and it is a major cause of fear. 
Imagination is the major cause of “entering the domain of the devil.” Most people who have 
imagination are lacking in scientific knowledge and understanding. They are still confused and 
wondering what they are doing. 

External Interference. Some of the worst deviations are caused by external disturbances during 
Qigong meditation. For example, you are meditating when suddenly you are shocked by a ringing 
telephone, a loud noise, or a friend talking to you. Such things can cause serious injury, especially 
when you are circulating Qi in the Small Circulation cycle or are practicing other higher levels of 
Qigong that require great concentration. Therefore, before you practice you should prevent all 
possible disturbances. 

Believing Non-professional Opinions. A common human failing that most of us share is that we 
tend to believe and trust other people’s judgment more than our own. We are especially open to 
advice from our friends. When you encounter a problem during practice, do not discuss it with 
anyone who is not experienced with Qigong. You can discuss it with your teacher or your fellow 
students, but it is best not to talk about it with friends who are not practicing Qigong. You are likely 
to be much better qualified to evaluate things than they are. 

Not Following the Advice and Rules of the Masters. The last part of this section will discuss 24 
rules which you should observe while practicing Qigong. You must believe in and obey these rules 
to avoid the most common causes of serious problems in practice. 

Though we have pointed out many possible causes of deviation and danger, you should not let this 
scare you away from practicing Qigong. Every scientific study or practice always has some level of 
risk. For example, you would not ban swimming simply because some people drown, and you 
shouldn’t refuse to drive a car even though many people are killed or injured by them. The proper 
approach to any of these things is to understand what you are doing, know the source of potential 
problems, define the training rules, and proceed cautiously. 

Most of the deviations we will discuss happen to Qigong practitioners who are able to generate a 
strong Qi flow, yet still do not understand and master the regulation of the body, breathing, and 
mind. You should understand that once you generate strong Qi in your body, if you do not know how 
to lead it, it may move into the wrong paths and affect your body’s normal Qi circulation. This is 
harmful and even dangerous. That is why they are called “deviations” rather than “phenomena,” 
which is the term we used earlier in the chapter to refer to experiences which beginners have. 



Deviations and Corrections: 


Headache. Earlier in the chapter we discussed the headaches which beginners have. Here we will 
discuss the potentially very serious headaches which happen to people who have developed more Qi. 

This headache is generally caused by an excess of Qi and blood, or a lack of oxygen in the brain. 
The excess of Qi and blood is usually caused by forced concentration, which means the mind is not 
regulated properly. Even when you are concentrating, both your Yi and body should be relaxed. If 
you force yourself to concentrate, your mind will lead Qi and blood to your head, you will become 
even more tense, and you will get a headache. It is just like when you can’t sleep; it’s no good trying 
to force yourself to sleep. You have to want to fall asleep, but you have to relax and let it happen. 

The headache caused by lack of oxygen usually occurs when your breathing is not regulated 
properly. For example, beginners will frequently try so hard to concentrate their Yi that they 
unconsciously hold their breath. Holding the breath reduces the oxygen supply to the brain and 
causes headaches or dizziness. It is therefore very important for the beginner to regulate his breath 
until it is smooth and natural. That means “regulating the breath without regulating.” Only then 
should he learn to concentrate his mind on leading the Qi. 

If you get a headache while practicing Qigong, stop training immediately. Regulate your breathing 
until it is smooth, and lead your body into a state of deep relaxation. This will help all of the Qi 
channels in the neck to open, and the Qi and blood which has accumulated in your head will be able 
to move down to your body. Externally, you may massage both temples (Figure 14-2) and lead the 
Qi and blood down. You should also massage the Fengchi (GB-20)(Wind Pond,-®- & .) cavity (Figure 
14-3) on the back of your neck, as well as the muscles there, pushing downward to lead the blood 
and Qi out of your head. Finally, put the center of your palm on the Baihui (Gv-20) (Hundred 
Meetings,^ 't) cavity on the crown of your head and lightly circle around for a few times, and then 
follow the muscles on the back of the neck downward (Figure 14-4). 

Stagnant Qi in the Upper Dan Tian. When you have stagnant Qi in your Upper Dan Tian, it feels 
like you have a piece of fly paper stuck on your third eye. This usually happens when you have been 
concentrating there very intensely. Normally, when you concentrate your Shen, your Upper Dan 
Tian area feels comfortably warm. However, if you feel uncomfortable, the Qi is stagnant. When this 
happens, massage your Upper Dan Tian and lead the Qi towards the temples and down the sides of 
the neck (Figure 14-5). Another way is to massage your Upper Dan Tian with your middle finger a 
few times, then lead the Qi down to the eye bridge, finally spreading the Qi down over your face 
(Figure 14-6). 

Dan Tian Feels Expanded and Uncomfortable. Although this is a phenomenon which is more 
common with beginners, people with some experience may also encounter it. It usually happens 
when you use too much force to move your abdominal muscles in and out. If you train for a long 
time, the muscles will be tired and you will not be able to control them. When you train your 
abdomen to move in and out, it must remain soft and relaxed. If the muscles are tense, the Qi will 
stagnate there. If you find that your abdomen feels uncomfortable and the Qi is stagnant there, 
overlap your hands and massage your abdomen in a circular manner a few times (Figure 14-7), then 
open your hands and brush the Qi down to the thighs (Figure 14-8). 

Pressure and Discomfort at the Diaphragm. This uncomfortable feeling usually happens when you 
use reverse abdominal breathing. It can also happen during normal breathing if you are not 
regulating your breathing correctly. In reverse abdominal breathing, as you inhale you push the 
diaphragm down while pulling your abdominal muscles in. This can cause a feeling of pressure and 
discomfort. Therefore, when you practice, you should start your reverse breathing on a smaller scale, 



with smaller movements of the abdomen. After you have practiced for a while, you will realize that 
there is a limit to how far you can move your abdomen without feeling pressure on your diaphragm. 
However, if you already feel uncomfortable, that means that the Qi is stagnant because of pressure 
and tension around the diaphragm. You should stop training immediately. Overlap your hands and 
gently press in on the solar plexus a few times (Figure 14-9), then brush downward and to the sides 
(Figure 14-10). 


Figure 14-2. Massaging the temples 



Figure 14-3. Massaging the Fengchi (GB-20) cavities 



Back Pain. Back pain in Qigong is usually caused by incorrect posture. This happens especially 
during sitting meditation. Incorrect posture can cause your Qi circulation to stagnate. It can also 
increase pressure and tension on the muscles. If you have back pain, stop practice immediately. If 
you force yourself to continue, you will only disturb your mind and make everything worse. If 
possible, have someone massage the painful area (Figure 14-11), following the spine downward to 
the hips (Figure 14-12), and spread the Qi to the sides of the body and downward to the legs. If you 
continue to have back pain when you meditate, you may gently lean against some support. You 
should not lean directly against a solid wall or anything that can drain your Qi. 


Figure 14-4. Massage the Baihui (Gv-20) cavity down the back 



Figure 14-5. Massage from the Upper Dan Tian to the temples and downward 



Nocturnal Emissions. This happens when you have built up your Qi and do not know how to keep 
it and circulate it. If you do a lot of Dan Tian exercises the Qi will be full there, your sexual organs 
will be energized, and your body will produce more hormones. This will increase your sexual desire, 
and cause frequent erections, often without apparent causes such as physical or mental stimulation. If 
you do not have any sexual activity, internal sexual pressure builds up, and your body will 
automatically release the pressure through nocturnal emissions about once a month. If you practice 
Qigong and the semen is released automatically more than twice a month, then it is not normal. That 
means you are not converting the Essence into Qi and circulating it properly. In order to convert the 
Essence into Qi and circulate it, when your Qi is full you should coordinate the movement of your 
Huiyin cavity and anus with your breathing. This training will be discussed in more detail when we 
discuss the Small and Grand circulation and the Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong in the future 
volumes. 

Figure 14-6. Massage from the Upper Dan Tian down to the eye bridge and spread over the face 



Figure 14-7. Massage from the Lower Dan Tian 



Figure 14-8. From the Lower Dan Tian down the thighs 




Figure 14-9. Massage the solar plexus (Middle Dan Tian) 



Figure 14-10. From the solar plexus to the sides 



This problem can also occur when the Qi level in your lower body is lower than normal. When the 
lower part of your body is deficient due to sickness or excessive walking, there is not enough Qi to 
keep the muscles functioning normally, and you will occasionally experience nocturnal emissions. 
This can also happen if you train Qigong incorrectly, or if you get involved in Qigong before you 
have completely recovered from an illness. In this case, massage your Lower Dan Tian and 
abdominal area until they are warm after each Qigong practice. 

The Qi Circulates Strongly by Itself. Sometimes people will build up Qi faster than their Yi can 
control it. This can be extremely dangerous. It is like driving a car when you don’t know how to 
steer. If you cannot control your Qi, it may go the wrong way and cause serious injury. Many 
beginning Qigong students are enthusiastic and impatient, and try to regulate their Qi before they are 
able to regulate their body, breathing, and mind. When they feel the Qi move around by itself, 
especially while training the Small Circulation, they are elated because they think it is a sign that 
they are making progress. When you find that your Qi is building up and you cannot control it, you 
should stop practice completely for a period of time. Practice regulating your body, breathing, and 
mind until you are confident and understand what you are doing. Only then should you start 
regulating your Qi. The wisest course is to consult with an experienced master. However, many 
times you will find the Qi moving or distributing itself on a small scale. This usually does not last 
too long and stops on its own. This is nothing to worry about, and you should simply continue your 
practice with a calm and peaceful mind. 


Figure 14-11. Massaging the back 



Figure 14-12. Spread the Qi downward to the thighs 






Do not confuse this experience with what happens when you train certain Qigong exercises that 
build up Qi in a particular area so that it will later circulate strongly by itself. These exercises were 
designed for that purpose, and the automatic, strong Qi flow is expected. 

Qi Entering the Wrong Path. The main reason that Qi enters the wrong path is that your mind is 
scattered and not regulated. If your Qi is strong and your mind is not regulated, the Qi may go 
anywhere. It might make your internal organs too Yang or too Yin, and you could become ill. 
Qigong without a regulated mind is like a car with a drunken driver — it is extremely dangerous. 
Always remember: regulate your body, breathing, and mind first before you regulate your Qi. If you 
are already ill because of Qigong practice, stop practice immediately! Relax and get enough rest, and 
wait until the Qi regains its balance. You usually do not need to see a doctor; if you keep calm and 
relaxed the Qi will balance itself. When you start again, begin with the most basic regulating 
exercises first, so that you do not fall into the same problem again. 

Stiff Tongue. When the tongue is stiff in Qigong practice, it can stagnate the Qi in the Small 
Circulation. Practice relaxing your tongue as the tip lightly touches the roof of your mouth. Only 
when you can do this naturally and comfortably should you start practicing the Small Circulation. 



14-5. The Twenty-Four Rules for Qigong Practice 


In this section we will list the twenty-four rules which have been passed down by generations of 
Qigong masters. These rules are based on much study and experience, and you should observe them 
carefully. 

1. Don’t be Stubborn about Plans and Ideas (Yu Zhi Wang Nian) fifi This is one 

of the easiest mistakes for beginners to make. When we take up Qigong we are 
enthusiastic and eager. However, sometimes we don’t learn as fast as we would like 
to, and we become impatient and try to force things. Sometimes we set up a 
schedule for ourselves: today I want to make my Dan Tian warm, tomorrow I want 
to get through the tailbone cavity, by such and such a day I want to complete the 
Small Circulation. This is the wrong way to go about it. Qigong is not like any 
ordinary job or task you set for yourself — you cannot make a progress schedule 
for Qigong. This will only make your thinking rigid and stagnate your progress. 
Everything happens when it is time for it to happen. If you force it, it will not 
happen naturally. 

2. Don’t Place Your Attention in Discrimination (Zhuo Yi Fen Bie) When 

you practice, do not place your attention on the various phenomena or sensations 
which are occurring. Be aware of what is happening, but keep your mind centered 
on wherever it is supposed to be for the exercise you are doing. If you let your 
mind go to wherever you feel something interesting happening, the Qi will follow 
your mind and interfere with your body’s natural tendency to rebalance itself. Do 
not expect anything to happen, and don’t let your mind wander around looking for 
the various phenomena. Furthermore, don’t start evaluating or judging the 
phenomena, such as asking “Is my Dan Tian warmer today than it was yesterday?” 

Don’t ask yourself “Just where is my Qi now?” When your mind is on your Qi, 
your Yi is there also, and this stagnant Yi will not lead the Qi. Be aware of what is 
happening, but don’t pay attention to it. When you drive a car, you don’t watch 
yourself steer and work the pedals and shift gears. If you did, you’d drive off the 
road. You simply put your mind on where you want to go and let your body 
automatically drive the car. This is called regulating without regulating. 

3. Avoid Miscellaneous Thought Remaining on Origins (Za Nian Pan Yuan) 

This is a problem of regulating the mind. The emotional mind is strong, and every 
idea is still strongly connected to its origin. If you cannot cut the ideas off at their 
source, your mind is not regulated, and you should not try to regulate your Qi. You 
will also often find that even though you have stopped the flow of random thoughts 
going through your mind, new ideas are generated during practice. For example, 
when you discover your Dan Tian is warm, your mind immediately recalls where 
this is mentioned in a book, or how the master described it, and you start to 
compare your experience with this. Or you may start wondering what the next step 
is. All of these thoughts will lead you away from peace and calm, and your mind 
will end up in the Domain of the Devil. Then your mind will be confused, 
scattered, and very often scared, and you will tire quickly. 

4. Xin Should not Follow the External Scenery (Xin Sui Wai Jing) This is 

also a problem of regulating the mind (Xin). When your emotional mind is not 
controlled, any external distraction will lead it away from your body and to the 



distraction. You must train yourself so that noises, smells, conversations and such 
will not disturb your concentration. It is all right to be aware of what is happening, 
but your mind must remain calmly, peacefully, and steadily on your cultivation. 

5. Regulate Your Sexual Activity (Ru Fang Shi Jing) a# Y ou should not have 
sexual relations at least 24 hours before or after practicing Qigong, especially 
martial or religious Qigong. The Essence-Qi conversion training is a very critical 
part of these practices, and if you practice Qigong soon after sex, you will harm 
your body significantly. Sex depletes your Qi and sperm, and the Qi level in the 
lower portion of your body is lower than normal. When you practice Qigong under 
these conditions, it is like doing heavy exercise right after sex. Furthermore, when 
your Qi level is abnormal, your feeling and sensing are also not accurate. Under 
these conditions, your Yi can be misled and its accuracy affected. You should wait 
until the Qi level regains its normal balance before you resume Qigong practice. 
Only then will the Essence-Qi conversion proceed normally and efficiently. 

One of the major purposes of Qigong is to increase the Essence-Qi conversion and 
use this Qi to nourish your body. Once a man has built up a supply of Qi, having 
sex will only pass this Qi on to his partner. As a matter of fact, many Qigong 
masters insist that you should not have sex three days before and four days after 
practice. 

During sexual relations the female usually gains Qi while the male loses Qi during 
ejaculation. The woman should not practice Qigong after sex until her body has 
digested the Qi she has obtained from the man. There are certain Daoist Qigong 
techniques which teach men how not to lose Qi during sexual activity, and teach 
women how to receive Qi from the man and digest it. We will leave the discussion 
of this subject to Qigong masters who are qualified and experienced in it. 

6. Don’t be too Warm or too Cold (Da Wen Da Han) h &The temperature of the 
room in which you are training should not be too hot or too cold. You should 
practice in the most comfortable environment which will not disturb your mind and 
cultivation. 

7. Be Careful of the Five Weaknesses and Internal Injuries (Wu Lao An Shang) 
jL#eS-9JFive weaknesses means the weaknesses of five Yin organs: the heart, liver, 
lungs, kidneys, and spleen. When you realize that any of these five organs is weak, 
you should proceed very gradually and gently with your Qigong practice. Qigong 
practice is an internal exercise which is directly related to these five organs. If you 
do not move gradually and gently, it is like forcing a weak person to run 10 miles 
right away. This will not build up his strength, instead it will injure him more 
seriously. 

For the same reason, when you have an internal injury your internal Qi distribution 
and circulation is already disturbed. If you practice Qigong your feelings may be 
misled, and your practice may worsen your problem and interfere with the natural 
healing process. There are certain Qigong exercises which are designed to cure 
internal injuries, but to use them properly you need to have a very good 
understanding of the Qi situation of your body. 

8. Avoid Facing the Wind When Sweating (Zuo Han Dang Feng) 4 $ J&Don’t 

practice in the wind, especially facing the wind. When you practice Qigong you are 
exercising either internally, or both internally and externally. It is normal to sweat, 
and since you are relaxed, your pores are wide open. If you expose your body to 
cold wind, you will catch cold. 



9. Don’t Wear Tight Clothes and Belt (Jin Yi Shu Dai) % & A ^Always wear loose 
clothes during practice because this will help you to feel comfortable. Keep your 
belt loose, too. The abdomen is the key area in Qigong practice, and you must be 
careful not to limit the movement of this area because it will interfere with your 
practice. 

10. Don’t Eat too Much Greasy and Sweet Food (Tao Tie Fei Gan) l^fc'tfYou 
should regulate your eating habits while you are practicing Qigong. Greasy or 
sweet food will increase your Fire Qi, making your mind scattered, and your Shen 
will stray away from its residence. You should eat more fruits and vegetables, and 
keep away from alcohol and tobacco. 

11. Don’t Hang Your Feet off the Bed (Ba Chuang Xuan Jiao) 3£&$*fPln ancient 
times the most common place in Qigong practice was sitting on your bed. Since 
most beds were high, if you sat on the edge of the bed your feet would hang off the 
side of the bed above the floor. When you practice Qigong your feet should touch 
the floor. If they do not, all of the weight of your body will press down on the 
lower part of your thighs and reduce the Qi and blood circulation. Furthermore, 
when you practice you should not put your feet up on the table, because this 
position will also stagnate the Qi and blood circulation. 

12. Don’t Practice with a Full Bladder (Jiu Ren Xiao Bian) ^S-b^You should go to 
the toilet before you start your practice. If you need to go during practice, stop your 
practice and do so. Holding it in disturbs your concentration. 

13. Don’t Scratch an Itch (Sao Zhua Yang Chu) &4K&$LIf you itch because of some 
external reason, such as an insect walking on you or biting you, do not be alarmed 
and keep your mind calm. Use your Yi to lead the Qi back to its residence, the Dan 
Tian. Breathe a couple of times and gradually bring your consciousness back to 
your surroundings. Then you may scratch or think of how to stop the itching. 
However, if the itching is caused by Qi redistribution in the Qigong practice, 
remain calm and do not move your mind there. Simply ignore it and let it happen. 
Once it has reached a new balance, the itching will stop. If you scratch this kind of 
itch it means that your mind has been disturbed, and also that you are using your 
hands to interfere with the natural rebalancing of your body’s Qi. 

14. Avoid Being Suddenly Disturbed or Startled (Cu Hu Jing Ji) ftltYou should 
avoid being suddenly disturbed or startled. However, if it does happen, calm down 
your mind. You must absolutely prevent yourself from losing your temper. What 
has happened has happened, and getting mad cannot change anything. What you 
should do is prevent it from happening again. Most important of all, though, is 
learning how to regulate your mind when you are disturbed. 

15. Don’t Take Delight in the Scenery (Dui Jing Huan Xi) #tR)S-It is very common 
during practice to suddenly notice something that is going on inside of you. 
Perhaps you feel Qi moving more clearly than ever before, or you start to sense 
your bone marrow, and you feel elated and excited. You have just fallen into a very 
common trap. Your concentration is broken, and your mind is divided. This is 
dangerous and harmful. You have to learn how to be aware of what is going on 
inside you without getting excited. 

16. Don’t Wear Sweaty Clothes (Jiu Zhuo Han Yi) AS jf^This happens mostly in 
moving Qigong practice, especially in martial Qigong training. When your clothes 
are wet from sweat you will feel uncomfortable, and your concentration will be 
affected. It is better to change into dry clothes and then resume practice. 



17. Don’t Sit When Hungry or Full (Ji Bao Shang Zuo) &&4.£You should not 
practice Qigong when you are hungry or when your stomach is full. When you are 
hungry it is hard to concentrate, and when you are full your practice will affect 
your digestion. 

18. Heaven and Earth Strange Disaster (Tian Di Zai Guai) jf! &It is believed that 
your body’s Qi is directly affected by changes in the weather. It is therefore not 
advisable to practice Qigong when there is a sudden weather change, because your 
practice will interfere with your body’s natural readjustment to the new 
environment. You will also be unable to feel and sense your Qi flow as you do 
normally. You must always try to remain emotionally neutral whenever you do 
Qigong; even if you are disturbed by a natural disaster like an earthquake, you must 
remain calm so that your Qi stays under control. 

19. Listen Sometimes to True Words (Zhen Yan Ou Ting) H'S'tofeYou need to have 
confidence when you practice Qigong. You should not listen to advice from people 
who do not have experience in Qigong and who are not familiar with the condition 
of your body. Some people listen to their classmates explain how they reached a 
certain level or how they cured a certain problem, and then blindly try to use the 
same method themselves. You need to understand that everyone has a different 
body, everyone’s health is slightly different, and everyone learns differently. When 
the time comes for you to learn something new, you will understand what you 
need. Play it cool and easy, and always have confidence in your training. 

20. Don’t Lean and Fall Asleep (Hun Chen Qing Yi) li-^ffi^You should not continue 
your Qigong training when you are sleepy. Using an unclear mind to lead Qi is 
dangerous. Also, when you are sleepy your body will not be regulated and will tend 
to lean or droop, and your bad posture may interfere with the proper Qi circulation. 
When you are sleepy it is best to take a rest until you are able to regain your spirit. 

21. Don’t Meditate When You Have Lost Your Temper or are Too Excited (Da Nu or 
Da Le Ru Zuo) •* k M ^^You should not meditate when you are too excited 
due to anger or happiness. Since your mind is scattered, meditation will bring you 
more harm than peace. 

22. Don’t Keep Spitting (Tu Tan Wu Du) is normal to generate a lot of 

saliva while practicing Qigong. The saliva should be swallowed to moisten your 
throat. Don’t spit out the saliva because this is a waste, and it will also disturb your 
concentration. 

23. Don’t Doubt and Become Lazy (Sheng Yi Xie Dai) £*$ftl&When you first start 
Qigong, you must have confidence in what you are doing, and not start doubting its 
validity, or questioning whether you are doing it right. If you start doubting right at 
the beginning you will become lazy, and you will start questioning whether you 
really want to continue. In this case, you will not have any success and your 
practice will never last. 

24. Do Not Ask for the Speedy Success (Bu Qiu Su Xiao) T &This is to remind 
you that Qigong practice is time consuming and progress is slow. You must have 
patience, a strong will, and confidence to reach your goal. Taking it easy and being 
natural are the most important rules. 



References 






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PART THREE 


The Qi Channels and Vessels 



CHAPTER 15 


General Concepts 



15-1. Introduction 


In this chapter we will explain a number of concepts and terms which are used in discussing Qi. You 
will find that many of the terms have already been discussed in previous chapters. We believe 
however, that it will be helpful to refresh your memory, as well as introduce new terms, to help you 
understand later discussions. Chapter 16 will review the twelve Qi channels and their relationship to 
health and Qigong, and chapter 17 will discuss the eight extraordinary vessels. 



Qi 


Qi is the energy which circulates within the body. As we noted in chapter 3, your entire body is 
like a factory and your organs are like many machines operating inside this factory. Your brain is 
like management, directing the entire operation. In order to keep the factory functioning properly, 
you need a power supply. The power supply is connected to each machine with many wires and 
cables. Each machine must receive the appropriate level of power; too much power will damage the 
machine and shorten its life, and too little power will not enable the machine to function properly. 
You can see that without a proper power supply in the factory, production will be off, and if the 
power supply stops, the entire factory is dead. It is the same with your body. When your body does 
not have a normal energy (Qi) supply, the organs will not function properly, and you will become 
sick; and if the Qi circulation stops, you will die. 

You should realize that your entire body is alive, including every blood cell, every nerve tissue, 
and every muscle fiber. All of these physical, fundamental structures of the body need Qi to maintain 
their existence and their ability to function. The system which distributes Qi throughout your body is 
much like the wiring system in a factory, connecting the power source to the machines. 

From the viewpoint of function, Chinese medical science classifies Qi in the following ways: 

1. Organ Qi. This Qi is responsible for the functioning of the organs. 

2. Channel Qi. This Qi is responsible for the transportation and moving functions of 
the channels. 

3. Nourishing Qi. The main responsibilities of this Qi are transforming and creating 
blood. Nourishing Qi also moves with the blood and helps the blood to nourish the 
tissues of the body. 

4. Guardian Qi. (also commonly translated as Protective Qi). This Qi circulates 
outside the channels and the organs. Guardian Qi’s responsibilities are to warm the 
organs, to travel between the skin and the flesh to regulate the opening and closing 
of the pores, and to protect and moisten the skin, hair, and nails. This Qi is able to 
provide the body with a defense capability against external negative influences 
such as cold weather. 

5. Ancestral Qi. This Qi gathers (resides) in the chest with its center at the Shanzhong 
cavity (Co- 17). Ancestral Qi is able to travel up to the throat and down to the 
abdomen. It is responsible for breathing and speaking, regulating the heart beat, 
and, when cultivated through meditation, Ancestral Qi can strengthen the body. 



Blood 


The Western concept of blood is only part of the Chinese conception of blood. Although blood is 
seen as a red fluid, in Chinese medical science it is also regarded as a force which is involved with 
the sensitivity of the sense organs and the inner vitality of the body. Since the main responsibility of 
blood is to carry nourishment to every part of the body, it clearly is closely related to Nourishing Qi. 



Qi and Blood 


In Chinese medicine, Qi is considered Yang and blood is considered Yin. Qi is said to be the 
“commander” of blood because blood relies on Qi for its generation out of food and air, and for its 
power to move through and remain in the blood vessels. It is also said that blood is the “mother” of 
Qi because the strength of Qi depends upon the nutrition and moisture carried in blood. Therefore, 
Qi and blood are believed to complement each other. 



Organs (Viscera) 


The concept of the Organs in Chinese medicine differs significantly from that of Western 
medicine. In Chinese medicine the Organs are systems of functions, and not mere physical objects. 
Generally, this means that within the description of the Organs, almost all of the body’s functions 
can be defined and explained. 

In Chinese medical science, the Organs are divided into two main groups: the Yin (Inner) and 
Yang (Outer) Organs. There are six Yin organs and six Yang organs. Five of the Yin organs 
(excluding the Pericardium) are called “Zang” (& .), which means viscera. These five (Liver, Heart, 
Spleen, Lungs, and Kidneys) are considered the core of the entire system. Usually, when a discussion 
involves the channels and all the Organs, the Pericardium is added; otherwise it is treated as an 
adjunct of the Heart. According to Chinese medicine, the Yin Organs “store and do not drain.” That 
means that their functions are directed toward sustaining homeostasis, both physically and mentally. 


Table 15-1. Table of Correspondence associated with the Five Phases 



WOOD A 

pipe k | £Aim ± 

METAl £ 

WATER 

Direction 

fast 

south 

Center 

West 

Norm 

Season 

Spring 

Summer 

Long Suinrirez 

Autumn 

winter 

Climactic Condition 

Wind 

Summer Heat 

Dampness 

Dryness 

Cokr 

Process 

fflrm 

Growth 

Transformation 

Harvest 

Storage 

Color 

Green 

Red 

Yelfow 

White 

Black 

Taste 

Sour 

Sitter 

Sweet 

Pungent 

Salty 

5 m eN 

Goatish 

Burning 

Fragrant 

Rank 

Rotten 

Yin Organ 

Liver 

Heart 

5 pJeen 

Lungs 

Kidneys 

Yang Organ 

GsN Bladder 

Small intestine 

Stoma ch 

■Large Intestine 

Bladder 

Opening 

Eyes 

Tongue 

Mouth 

Wose 

Ears 

Triiue 

Sinews 

BiGOd Vuub 

Flesh 


Bones 

Emt^cn 

Anger 

Happiness 

Pensfvt'ness 

Sadness 

Fcwr 

Hmrvin So-Linrf 

ShOUl 

Lighter 

Sens 

Wttpmg 

Gnwn 


The Six Yang Organs are called “Fu” (sft), which means ‘bowels’, and include the Gall Bladder, 
Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Stomach, Bladder, and Triple Burner. According to Chinese 
medicine, these Yang Organs “drain and do not store.” This refers to their responsibility in the 
transformation and the disposal of food and waste. All the Yang Organs receive food or a by-product 
of food, and then pass it along. 

In Table 15-1, you will notice that each Yang Organ is associated with a Yin Organ by a special 
Yin/Yang relationship (or Inner/Outer relationship). Pairs of related Yin and Yang Organs belong to 
the same Phase, and their Qi channels are sequential to each other in Qi circulation. They are so 
closely linked that a disease in one will usually affect the other. 


Yin and Yang 


We have discussed the concept of Yin and Yang in chapter 7. Yin and Yang are not contradictory. 
Nor is one considered “good,” and the other “bad.” To obtain health, a harmony is sought between 
them and any imbalance is avoided. Remember, Yin and Yang are relative, not absolute. 



Five Phases (or Five Elements)(Wu Xing, 


The five phases are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. They are also commonly translated as 
the “Five Elements.” In Chinese, “Xing” means “to walk or to move”; probably more pertinent, it 
means a process. The Five Phases are thought of as the five properties inherent in all things. Each 
phase symbolizes a category of related functions and qualities. For example, Wood is linked with 
active functions that are in phase with growth or with increasing. Fire expresses that the functions 
have reached a maximum state and are ready to decline. Metal represents that the functions are 
declining. Water symbolizes that the functions have declined and are ready to grow. And finally. 
Earth is associated with balance or neutrality. Therefore, Earth is the center point of the five phases. 

The relationships between the five phases are shown in Figure 15-1. 


Figure 15-1. The relationships between the Five Phases 


Fartb 


Production 

Conquest 

Demean 



Fire 


Meta] 


Wood 


Water 


Qi Channels and Vessels 


“Jing” (**.) is commonly translated “meridians” or “primary Qi channels.” Your body has twelve 
channels, which Chinese medicine considers to be like rivers of Qi. Each channel, although referred 
to in the singular, is actually a pair of mirror-image channels, one on either side of the body. One end 
of each of these twelve channels is associated with one of the twelve organs, while the other end is 
connected to a toe or finger (six channels are connected to the fingers and the other six are connected 
to the toes). 

There are eight “Qi Mai” (&AJ.) or “Qi vessels” in your body. They are often compared to 
reservoirs because they store Qi for your system. They can also be compared to batteries and 
capacitors in an electrical system. Batteries store and then release electrical current, and capacitors 
regulate the electrical current in the same way that the vessels regulate the Qi in your channels and 
organs. 

There are other Qi channels called “Luo” (&) or “Qi branches.” There are millions of Luo 
spreading out from the channels to distribute Qi to every cell in the body. The Luo carry Qi from the 
channels outward to nourish the skin, hair, eyes, nails, etc., and also inward to the bone marrow to 
maintain the production of blood cells. Luo also connect the organs, enabling them to communicate 
and cooperate with each other. 

The next term you must know is “Xue” (&), which is translated as “cavity.” Your body has more 
than seven hundred of these cavities, through which acupuncturists access the Qi channels with 
needles or other methods. 

In order for you to be healthy, the Qi must flow smoothly and continuously in the channels. 
However, sometimes there are blockages, and the flow becomes stagnant. Blockages can be caused 
by eating poor quality food, by injuries, or by the physical degeneration that occurs as you age. 
Another problem is when the Qi is not flowing at the proper level. Acupuncturists have several ways 
of treating these problems, including the insertion of needles in certain cavities to adjust the flow of 
Qi. 



CHAPTER 16 


The Twelve Primary Qi Channels 



16-1. Introduction 


In this chapter we will briefly review the twelve primary Qi channels. As a Qigong practitioner you 
need to know how the Qi in each channel and related organ can be affected by the seasons, the 
weather, emotions, and food. Table 15-1 offers you a guideline to these relationships. 

You should also know the organ’s Yin and Yang. As seen in the last chapter, there are six Yang 
organs and six Yin organs. Each Yang organ is associated with a Yin organ by a special Yin/Yang 
relationship. Pairs of Yin and Yang organs belong to the same phase in the Five Phases, their 
channels are sequential to each other in the circulation of Qi, their functions are closely related, and 
disease in one usually affects the other. In Chinese medicine, the channel corresponding to the Yang 
organ is often used to treat disorders of its related Yin organ. 

In the limbs, the Yang channels are on the external side of the limbs while the Yin channels are on 
the internal side. Generally speaking, the outsides of the limbs are more Yang and are more resistant 
and prepared for an attack, while the internal sides are more Yin and weaker. 

The organs are further subdivided in order to distinguish the different levels of the Yin/Yang 
characteristics. The Yang organs are divided into Greater Yang (Taiyang,-kf& ), Lesser Yang 
(Shaoyang,^' S' ), and Yang Brightness (Yangming,^^). The Yin organs are divided into Greater 
Yin (Taiyin, .*.$■), Lesser Yin (Shaoyin,^’ & .), and Absolute Yin (Jueyin,^^). In the following 
discussion, all of the classifications will be shown in the title, for example: the Lung Channel of 
Hand — Greater Yin. 



16-2. The Twelve Primary Channels 


The Lung Channel of Hand — Greater Yin (Figure 16-1) -Fit ® ^ *f- 

1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Stomach (Zhong Jiao, Middle Triple Burner) — (2). Large Intestine — (3). 
Diaphragm — (4). Lung — (5). Throat — (6). Upper Arm — (7). Mid-Elbow — 
(8). Forearm — (9). Wrist — (10). Thenar — (11). Pollex (Shaoshang, L-l 1). 
Course #2: 

(12). Above the styloid process at the wrist — (13). Index Finger (Shangyang, LI- 

1 ) 

2. Related Viscera 

Lung (Pertaining Organ), Large Intestine, Stomach, and Kidney. 

3. Cavities 

Zhongfu (L-l), Yunmen (L-2), Tianfu (L-3), Xiabai (L-4), Chize (L-5), Kongzui 
(L- 6), Lieque (L-7), Jingqu (L-8), Taiyuan (L-9), Yuji (L-10), and Shaoshang (L- 
11 ). 

4. Discussion 

The Lungs (Yin) and the Large Intestine (Yang) are considered paired Organs. 
From Table 15-1 you can see that they belong to Metal in the Five Phases, the 
westerly direction, the season of autumn, the dry climactic condition, the color 
white, the pungent taste, the rank odor, the emotion of sadness, and the sound of 
weeping. Their opening is the nose, and they govern skin and hair. 

In Qigong practice, since the Lungs belong to Metal, they are able to regulate 
heartburn. The Heart belongs to Fire. Whenever the Heart has excess Qi, deep 
breathing is able to lead the Heart’s fire to the Lungs, and therefore cool the 
heartburn. When the weather is changing from damp, hot summer into drier and 
chilly autumn, Lungs are the first organ to sense the change. If your Lungs are not 
able to readjust themselves to fit the new situation smoothly, you will catch a cold. 
The lung access the outside world through your nose. The Lungs are responsible 
for taking Qi from the air, and for the energy (Qi) state of the body. 

Breathing is considered a strategy for leading Qi to the extremities such as skin 
and hair. When your breathing is regulated properly, you are able to strengthen 
your body’s Guardian Qi and generate an expansive Qi shield to protect your body. 
You are also able to raise or lower your Qi state through your breathing. For 
example, when you are angry, deep breathing is able to calm your excited Qi state. 

The Lungs are sensitive to emotional changes, especially when you are sad or 
angry. They also control that part of the liquid metabolism which distributes liquid 
to the skin. 


Figure 16-1. The Lung Channel of Hand-Greater Yin 



* Points Belonging to Channels 

a Points of Intersection 

Connecting Lines 

Primary Channels on Which There are Points 

Primary Channels and Branches without Points 



Because the Lungs are usually the first to be attacked by exogenous diseases, 
they are called the Delicate Organ. These diseases can also cause what is called the 
Non-Spreading of the Lung Qi. The main symptom of a problem with the Lungs is 
coughing, which is a form of Rebellious Qi (since the Lung Qi normally flows 
downward). If coughing is also accompanied by lassitude, shortness of breath, light 
foamy phlegm, and weakness in the voice, it is called Deficient Lung Qi. However, 
if the cough is a dry one, with little phlegm, a parched throat and mouth, and 
Deficient Yin symptoms (such as night sweating, low grade fever, red cheeks, etc.), 
the condition is referred as Deficient Lung Yin. 



The Large Intestine Channel of Hand — Yang Brightness (Figure 16-2) -f F&# 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Index finger (Shangyang, LI-1) — (2). Wrist — (3). Elbow (4). Shoulder 

joint — (5). Governing Vessel at Dazhui (Gv-14) -(6). Supraclavicular fossa 
(Quepen, S-12) — (7). Lung — (8). Diaphragm — (9). Large Intestine. 

Course #2: 

(6). Supraclavicular fossa — (10). Neck — (11). Cheek — (12). Lower gum — 
(13). Renzhong (Gv-26) — (14). Side of the nose (Yingxiang, LI-20). 

2. Related Viscera 

Large Intestine (Pertaining Organ), Lung, and Stomach. 

3. Cavities 

Shangyang (LI-1), Erjian (LI-2), Sanjian (LI-3), Hegu (LI-4), Yangxi (LI-5), Pianli 
(LI-6), Wenliu (LI-7), Xianlian (LI-8), Shanglian (LI-9), Shousanli (LI- 10), Quchi 
(LI-11), Zhouliao (LI-12), Hand-Wuli (LI-13), Binao (LI-14), Jianyu (LI-15), Jugu 
(LI-16), Tianding (LI-17), Futu (LI-18), Heliao (LI-19), and Yingxiang (LI-20). 

4. Discussion 

The Lungs (Yin) and the Large Intestine (Yang) are considered paired Organs. 
From Table 15-1 you can see that they belong to Metal in the Five Phases, the 
westerly direction, the season of autumn, the dry climactic condition, the color 
white, the pungent taste, the rank odor, the emotion of sadness, and the sound of 
weeping. Their opening is the nose, and they govern skin and hair. 

The main function of the Large Intestine is the metabolism of water and the 
passing of water. It extracts water from the waste material received from the Small 
Intestine, sends it on to the Urinary Bladder, and excretes the solid material as 
stool. Many disorders affecting this Organ are categorized as Spleen and Stomach 
patterns. Certain abdominal pains are considered manifestations of a blockage of 
Qi or blood in the Large Intestine. 

Figure 16-2. The Large Intestine Channel of Hand- Yang Brightness 



LT-20 


Gv-14 



In Qigong, the Dan Tian in the lower abdomen is considered the residence of 
Original Qi. In order to keep this Qi at its residence, this area must be strong and 
healthy. The Qi circulating around the intestines must not be stagnant. When you 
practice Qigong you must learn how to regulate your breathing to smooth the Qi 
flow in the Large Intestine and the Lungs. This will allow you to relax the front of 
your body and regulate the Qi flow in the other organs. 


The Stomach Channel of Foot — Yang Brightness (Figure 16-3) AF# M. 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(I) . Sides of the nose (Yingxiang, LI-20) — (2). Root of the nose — (3). Lateral 
side of the nose — (4). Upper gum — (5). Renzhong (Gv-26) — (6). Chengjiang 
(Co-24) — (7). Daying (S-5) — (8). Jiache (S-6) — (9). Ear — (10). Hair line — 

(II) . Shenting (Gv-24). 

Course #2: 

(7). Daying (S-5) — (12). Renying (S-9) — (13). Throat — (14). Into the chest — 

(15) . Through the diaphragm to Zhongwan (Co- 12). 

Course #3: 

(16) . Infraclavicular fossa — (17). Along the sides of the umbilicus — (18). 
Qichong (S-30) — (19). Biguan (S-31) — (20). Futu (S-32) — (21). Dubi (S-35) 
— (22). Lateral side of tibia — (23). Dorsal aspect of the foot — (24). Lateral side 
of the tip of the second toe (Lidui, S-45). 

Course #4: 

(25). Below the knee — (26). Lateral side of the middle toe. 

Course # 5 : 

(27). Dorsum of the foot (Chongyang, S-42) — (28). Along the medial margin of 
the hallus and emerges out at its tip (Yinbai, Sp-1). 

2. Related Viscera 

Stomach (Pertaining Organ), Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, and Large Intestine. 

3. Cavities 

Chengqi (S-l), Sibai (S-2), Juliao (S-3), Dicang (S-4), Daying (S-5), Jiache (S-6), 
Xiaguan (S-7), Touwei (S-8), Renying (S-9), Shuitu (S-10), Qishe (S-l 1), Quepen 
(S-12), Qihu (S-13), Kufang (S-14), Wuyi (S-15), Yingchuang (S-16), Ruzhong 
(S- 17), Rugen (S-l 8), Burong (S-l 9), Chengman (S-20), Liangmen (S-21), 
Guanmen (S-22), Taiyi (S-23), Huaroumen (S-24), Tianshu (S-25), Wailing (S- 
26), Daju (S- 27), Shuidao (S-28), Guilai (S-29), Qichong (S-30), Biguan (S-31), 
Femur-Futu (S-32), Yinshi (S-33), Liangqiu (S-34), Dubi (S-35), Zusanli (S-36), 
Shangjuxu (S-37), 


Figure 16-3. The Stomach Channel of Foot- Yang Brightness 



Gv-24 



S*31 


5-32 


S-35 


Tiaokou (S-38), Xiajuxu (S-39), Fenglong (S-40), Jiexi (S-41), Chongyang (S- 42), 
Xiangu (S-43), Neiting (S-44), Lidui (S-45). 


4. Discussion 

The Spleen (Yin) and the Stomach (Yang) are paired Organs. They belong to 
Earth in the Five Phases, the central direction, the season of long summer (the end 
of summer), the climactic condition of dampness, the color yellow, the emotion of 
pensiveness, the taste of sweetness, fragrant odor and the sound of singing. Their 


opening is the mouth and they control the flesh and the limbs. 

The Yin/Yang relationship between the Spleen and the Stomach is a particularly 
strong example of the relationship between organs. The Stomach receives food 
while the Spleen transports nutrients. The Stomach moves things downward while 
the Spleen moves things upward. The Stomach likes dampness while the Spleen 
likes dryness. 

Though there are some patterns relating to Deficiency of the Stomach (many of 
these originate in the Spleen), most Stomach disorders are caused from Excess. 
Stomach Fire gives a painful, burning sensation in the Stomach, unusual hunger, 
bleeding of the gums, constipation, and halitosis. 

The Stomach, which is located in the middle Sanjiao (Middle Triple Burner) 
area, is the first step in converting food into Qi. Food is dissolved in the Stomach 
before being sent to the intestines for absorbing. The absorbed Essence is then 
converted into Qi and circulated through the entire body. 

The Stomach is related to the emotion of pensiveness. When you are upset, the 
Stomach will not function normally. In Qigong, regulating the mind is the first step 
to maintaining the Stomach in a healthy condition. What food you eat is the second 
consideration. The proper amount and the proper quality of food will help you to 
obtain high quality Qi to circulate in your body. 



The Spleen Channel of Foot — Greater Yin (Figure 16-4) & ft 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Medial tip of the big toe (Yinbai, Sp-1) — (2). Anterior border of the medial 
malleolus — (3). Along the posterior border of the tibia — (4). Medial aspect of 
the leg — (5). Medial aspect of the art. genus — (6). Anterior medial aspect of the 
thigh — (7). Enter the abdomen — (8). Zhongji (Co-3) and Guanyuan (Co-4) — 
(9). Pertains to the Spleen and communicates with the Stomach — (10). Riyue 
(GB-24) and Qimen (Li- 14) — (11). Penetrates the diaphragm through Zhongfu 
(L-l) — (12). Throat — (13). Root of the tongue. 

Course #2: 

(9). Stomach — (14). Through the diaphragm and disperses into the Heart. 


Figure 16-4. The Spleen Channel of Foot-Greater Yin 




2. Related Viscera 

Spleen (Pertaining Organ), Stomach, Heart, Lung, and Intestines. 

3. Cavities 

Yinbai (Sp-1), Dadu (Sp-2), Taibai (Sp-3), Gongsun (Sp-4), Shangqiu (Sp-5), 
Sanyinjiao (Sp-6), Lougu (Sp-7), Diji (Sp-8), Yinlingquan (Sp-9), Xuehai (Sp-10), 
Jimen (Sp-11), Chongmen (Sp-12), Fushe (Sp-13), Fujie (Sp-14), Daheng (Sp- 15), 
Fuai (Sp-16), Shidou (Sp-17), Tianxi (Sp-18), Xiongxiang (Sp-19), Zhourong (Sp- 
20), Dabao (Sp-21). 

4. Discussion 


The Spleen (Yin) and the Stomach (Yang) are paired Organs. They belong to 
Earth in the Five Phases, the central direction, the season of long summer (the end 
of summer), the climactic condition of dampness, the color yellow, the emotion of 
pensiveness, the taste of sweetness, fragrant odor, and the sound of singing. Their 
opening is the mouth and they control the flesh and the limbs. 

The Spleen is the main Organ of digestion. Its function is to transport nutrients 
and regulate the blood (regulate means to keep it within the channels). It is 
responsible for the transformation of food into nourishment. 

When the Spleen is weak, the body will not be able to use the nourishment 
available in food. This will cause general lassitude and fatigue, and a pasty 
complexion. The upper abdomen is considered the province of the Spleen. 
Deficient Spleen Qi is shown by a sense of malaise or fullness in that area. Because 
it is required that the transportive function of the Spleen distribute its Qi upward, 
weakness in the Spleen will usually cause diarrhea. Spleen Qi is also regarded as 
the Middle Qi, and it is responsible for holding the Viscera in place. Insufficiency 
of the Middle Qi will presage prolapsed Stomach, Kidneys, etc. In more serious 
cases, the Spleen Yang Qi will be deficient, which is manifested in diarrhea, cold 
limbs, and abdominal pain that can be soothed by the warmth of frequent hot 
drinks. 

If many of the above symptoms are accompanied by bleeding, especially from 
the digestive tract or uterus, it is called Spleen Not Controlling the Blood. 

Cold and Dampness Harassing the Spleen is a manifestation type characterized 
by a pent-up feeling in the chest and a bloated sensation in the abdomen, lassitude, 
lack of appetite and taste, a feeling of cold in the limbs, a dark yellowish hue to the 
skin, some edema and diarrhea or watery stool. The Cold and Dampness prevent 
the Spleen from performing its transforming and transporting functions. This leads 
to a great disturbance in water metabolism and is one of the origins of Phlegm. 

In Qigong training, one of the final goals is to regulate the Qi flow to its original 
(normal) level in the five Yin Organs. Among them, the Spleen is the last and the 
hardest organ to regulate. It is believed that if you are able to regulate the Qi in 
your Spleen to a normal and healthy condition, you will have grasped the key to 
health and longevity. 



The Heart Channel of Hand — Lesser Yin (Figure 16-5) F 'Jr &- 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Heart — (2). Lung — (3). Below the axilla — (4). Upper arm — (5). 
Antecubital fossa — (6). Between ossa metacarpal IV and V — (7). Tip of the little 
finger (Shaochong, H-9). 

Course #2: 

(1). Heart — (8). Diaphragm — (9). Small Intestine. 

Course #3: 

(1). Heart — (10). Throat — (11). Tissues surrounding the eye. 

2. Related Viscera 

Heart (Pertaining Organ), Small Intestine, Lung, and Kidney. 

3. Cavities 

Jiquan (H-l), Qingling (H-2), Shaohai (H-3), Lingdao (H-4), Tongli (H-5), Yinxi 
(H-6), Shenmen (H-7), Shaofu (H-8), Shaochong (H-9). 

4. Discussion 

The Heart and the Small Intestine are paired Organs. The Heart is considered 
Yin, and the Small Intestine is considered Yang, balancing this paired channel. 
These two organs correspond to Fire in the Five Phases, the southerly direction, the 
summer season, the climactic condition of heat, the color red, the emotion of 
happiness, the sound of laughter, the taste of bitterness, the odor of burning. Their 
point of entry is the tongue, they control the blood vessels and are reflected in the 
face. 

Almost all of the problems and disorders of the Heart are associated with 
weakness. The four major types of Heart weakness are Deficient Heart Qi, 
Deficient Heart Yang, Deficient Heart Blood, and Deficient Heart Yin. 

The main functions of the Heart are associated with the spirit and the blood 
vessels. The Heart governs the blood vessels and is responsible for moving blood 
through them. It also stores the spirit, and is the Organ usually associated with 
mental processes. Therefore, some forms of emotional distress, dizziness, 
palpitations, shortness of breath, and lack of vitality are common to the Heart’s 
diseases. Deficient Heart Qi is symbolized by general lassitude, panting and 
shallow breathing, and frequent sweating. If the face is swollen to an ashen gray or 
bluish-green and the limbs are cold, it is called Deficient Heart Yang. The 
symptoms of restlessness, irritability, dizziness, absentmindedness, and insomnia 
are typical signs of Deficient Heart Blood. In Deficient Heart Yin cases, 
developments with a flushed feeling in the palms and face, low grade fever, and 
night sweating will occur. 

The symptom of Heart Excess arises from an excess of Heart Fire. This is 
manifested by fever, occasionally accompanied by delirium, a racking pulse, 
intense rest-lessness, insomnia or frequent nightmares, a bright red face, a red or 
blistered and painful tongue, and often a burning sensation during urination. The 
latter symptom is the result of Heat being transferred from the Heart to the Small 
Intestine, which interferes with the Small Intestine’s role in metabolism and the 
body’s management of water. 



Figure 16-5. The Heart Channel of Hand-Lesser Yin 



In Qigong society, it is believed that the mind is associated with the Heart, and 
that it is also directly related to the spirit. As discussed in the third chapter, the term 
Heart (Xin) is usually used to represent the emotional mind or idea. The Middle 
Dan Tian at the solar plexus is considered the residence of the Fire Qi. This Fire is 
used to nourish the brain and the spirit (Shen) at its residence, the Upper Dan Tian 
or third eye. In Chinese medicine it is said that the Heart is the temple of the spirit 
because it supplies Fire Qi and can nourish the spirit without limit. 

Generally speaking, the Heart is very sensitive during the summertime. The 
Heart is a Yin channel, and when the summer Yang comes it can increase the 


Heart’s Qi level and cause problems. Emotional disturbances, such as excitement 
from happiness, is considered harmful to the Heart as well, especially during the 
summertime. Qigong emphasizes regulating the Heart in the summer. 



The Small Intestine Channel of Hand — Greater Y ang (Figure 16-6) -f- k T $ 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Tip of the digitus minimus (Shaoze, SI-1) — (2). Wrist — (3). Top of elbow 

— (4). Dorsal surface of the upper arm — (5). Shoulder — (6). Circle around the 
superior and inferior fossa of the scapula — (7). Meets Dazhui (Gv-14) — (8). 
Enters the supraclavicular fossa — (9). Heart — (10). Passes along the esophagus 

— (11). Diaphragm — (12). Stomach — (13). Small Intestine. 

Course #2: 

(8). Supraclavicular fossa — (14). Neck — (15). Cheek — (16). Tongziliao (GB-I) 

— (17). Into the ear. 

Course #3: 

(18). Cheek — (19). Jingming (B-l) — (20). Distributes over zygoma obliquely. 

2. Related Viscera 

Small Intestine (Pertaining Organ), Heart, and Stomach. 

3. Cavities 

Shaoze (SI-1), Qiangu (SI-2), Houxi (SI-3), Hand-Wangu (SI-4), Yanggu (SI-5), 
Yanglao (SI-6), Zhizheng (SI-7), Xiaohai (SI-8), Jianzhen (SI-9), Naoshu (SI-10), 
Tianzong (SI-11), Bingfeng (SI-12), Quyuan (SI-13), Jianwaishu (SI-14), 
Jianzhongshu (SI-15), Tianchuang (SI-16), Tianrong (SI-17), Quanliao (SI-18), 
Tinggong (SI-19). 

Figure 16-6. The Small Intestine Channel of Hand-Greater Yang 



GB-1 



4. Discussion 

The Heart and the Small Intestine are paired Organs. The Heart is considered 
Yin, and the Small Intestine is considered Yang, balancing this paired channel. 
These two organs correspond to Fire in the Five Phases, the southerly direction, the 
summer season, the climactic condition of heat, the color red, the emotion of 
happiness, the sound of laughter, the taste bitterness, the odor of burning. Their 
point of entry is the tongue. They control the blood vessels and are reflected in the 
face. 

The major function of the Small Intestine is to separate waste material from the 


nutritious elements in food. The nutritious elements are then distributed throughout 
the body and the waste is sent on to the Large Intestine. 

The Small and Large Intestines are located in the Lower Dan Tian. In order to 
store the Original Qi converted from Original Essence, the abdomen must be 
healthy and the Qi circulation in the area of the Intestines must be smooth and 
natural. The best way to reach this goal is through abdominal breathing exercises. 
One such exercise is to lead the Original Qi upward following the Heart and Small 
Intestine Qi Channels to cool down the Heart Fire. 



The Urinary Bladder Channel of Foot — Greater Yang (Figure 16-7) 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Canthus medial — (2). Shenting (Gv-24) — (3). Baihui (Gv-20). 

Course #2: 

(3). Baihui (Gv-20) — (4). Fubai (GB-10), Head-Qiaoyin (GB-11), and Wangu 
(Head-Wangu, GB-12), etc. 

Course #3: 

(3). Baihui (Gv-20) — (5). Naohu (Gv-17) — (6). Neck — (7). Dazhui (Gv-14) 
and Taodao (Gv-13) — (8). Lumber region — (9). Kidney — (10). Urinary 
Bladder. 

Course #4: 

(8). Lumbar region — (11). Crosses the buttock — (12). Popliteal fossa. 

Course #5: 

(6). Neck — (13). Medial side of the scapula — (14). Lumber region -(15). Lateral 
side of the thigh — (16). Popliteal fossa — (17). M. gastrocnemius — (18). Pushen 
(B-61) — (19). The lateral side of the tip of the small toe (Zhiyin, B-67). 

2. Related Viscera 

Urinary Bladder (Pertaining Organ), Kidney, Brain, and Heart. 

Figure 16-7. The Urinary Bladder Channel of Foot-Greater Yang 



Gv-20 

l 



l 

l— B-61 


3. Cavities 

Jingming (B-l), Zanzhu (B-2), Meichong (B-3), Quchai (B-4), Wuchu (B-5), 
Chengguang (B-6), Tongtian (B-7), Luogue (B-8), Yuzhen (B-9), Tianzhu (B-10), 
Dashu (B-ll), Fengmen (B-12), Feishu (B-13), Jueyinshu (B-14), Xinshu (B-15), 


Dushu (B-16), Geshu (B-17), Ganshu (B-18), Danshu (B-19), Pishu (B-20), 
Weishu (B-21), Sanjiaoshu (B-22), Shenshu (B-23), Qihaishu (B-24), Dachangshu 
(B-25), Guanyuanshu (B-26), Xiaochangshu (B-27), Pangguanshu (B-28), 
Zhonglushu (B-29), Baihuanshu (B-30), Shangliao (B-31), Ciliao (B-32), 
Zhongliao (B-33), Xialiao (B-34), Huiyang (B-35), Fufen (B-36), Pohu (B-37), 
Gaohuangshu (B-38), Shentang (B-39), Yixi (B-40), Geguan (B-41), Hunmen (B- 
42), Yanggang (B-43), Yishe (B-44), Weicang (B-45), Huangmen (B-46), Zhishi 
(B-47), Baohuang (B-48), Zhibian (B-49), Chengfu (B-50), Yinmen (B-51), Fuxi 
(B-52), Weiyang (B-53), Weizhong (B-54), Heyang (B-55), Chengjin (B-56), 
Chengshan (B-57), Feiyang (B-58), Fuyang (B-59), Kunlun (B-60), Pushen (B- 
61), Shenmai (B-62), Jinmen (B-63), Jinggu (B-64), Shugu (B-65), Foot-Tonggu 
(B-66), and Zhiyin (B-67). 

4. Discussion 

The Kidneys (Yin) and the Urinary Bladder (Yang) are paired Organs. They 
correspond to Water in the Five Phases, the winter season, the cold climactic 
condition, the northerly direction, the color black, the emotion of fear, the taste of 
salt, a rotten smell, and the sound of groaning. Their sensory organ is the ear. Their 
opening is the urethra. They control the bones, marrow, and brain, and their health 
is reflected in the hair of the head. 

The main function of the Urinary Bladder is to transform fluids into urine and 
excrete it from the body. 

In Qigong, the Urinary Bladder has never enjoyed serious attention. However, its 
pairing partner the Kidney is one of the most important organs — one with which 
all Qigong practitioners are concerned and train most often. The reason for this is 
simply that the Kidneys are the residence of the Original Essence. 



The Kidney Channel of Foot — Lesser Yin (Figure 16-8) & 9 & If $£ 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Small toe — (2). Inferior aspect of the navicular tuberosity (Rangu, K-2) — 
(3). Behind the malleolus medialis — (4). Spreads to the heel — (5). M. 
gastrocnemius — (6). Medial side of the popliteal fossa — (7). Posterior aspect of 
the thigh — (8). Enters Kidney — (9). Communicates with the Urinary Bladder — 
(10). Guanyuan (Co-4) andZhongji (Co-3). 

Course #2: 

(9). Kidney — (11). Liver and diaphragm — (12). Enters the Lung — (13). Along 
the throat — (14). Root of the tongue. 

Course #3: 

(12). Lung — (15). Heart and spreads to the chest. 

2. Related Viscera 

Kidney (Pertaining Organ), Urinary Bladder, Liver, Lung, Heart, and other organs. 

3. Cavities 

Yongquan (K-l), Rangu (K-2), Taixi (K-3), Dazhong (K-4), Shuiquan (K-5), 
Zhaohai (K-6), Fuliu (K-7), Jiaoxin (K-8), Zhubin (K-9), Yingu (K-IO), Henggu 
(K- 11), Dahe (K-12), Qixue (K-13), Siman (K-14), Abdomen-Zhongzhu (K-15), 
Huangshu (K-16), Shangqu (K-17), Shiguan (K-18), Yindu (K-19), Abdomen- 
Tonggu (K-20), Youmen (K-21), Bulang (K-22), Shenfeng (K-23), Lingxu (K-24), 
Shencang (K-25), Yuzhong (K-26), and Shufu (K-27). 

4. Discussion 

The Kidneys (Yin) and the Urinary Bladder (Yang) are paired Organs. They 
correspond to Water in the Five Phases, the winter season, the cold climactic 
condition, the northerly direction, the color black, the emotion of fear, the taste of 
salt, a rotten smell, and the sound of groaning. Their sensory organ is the ear. Their 
opening is the urethra. They control the bones, marrow, and brain, and their health 
is reflected in the hair of the head. 

The Kidneys store Original Essence (Yuan Jing) and are therefore responsible 
for growth, development, and reproductive functions. They play the primary role in 
water metabolism and control the body’s liquids, and also hold the body’s most 
fundamental Yin and Yang. 

Because the Kidneys are the repositories of the basal Yin and Yang of the body, 
any disorder, if sufficiently chronic, will involve the Kidneys. More significantly, a 
disease of the Kidneys will usually lead to problems in other Organs. Methods of 
strengthening the Kidneys are therefore used by both medical and Qigong societies 
to increase or maintain vitality and health. The symptoms of Deficient Kidney 
Yang or Yin are typical symptoms of the disorder, and will appear to a certain 
extent as Deficient Yang or Yin patterns in any Organ. 

It is easy to understand and memorize the symptoms of Deficient Kidney Yin if 
one learns the correspondences of the Kidneys and remembers that Yin represents 
the constructive, nourishing, and fluid aspects of the body. Usually, the lower back 
is weak and sore, there is ringing in the ears and loss of hearing acuity, the face is 
ashen or dark, especially under the eyes. It is common to feel dizziness and thirst, 



and to experience night sweats and low grade fevers. In addition, men have little 
semen and tend toward premature ejaculation, while women have little or no 
menstruation. 

Deficient Kidney Yang symptoms are significantly associated with loss of 
energy or warmth. Similar to Deficient Kidney Yin, there is commonly ringing in 
the ears, dizziness, and soreness in the lower back. However, the soreness is 
characterized by a feeling of coldness, lassitude, and fatigue. Weakness in the legs 
can be noticed. In men, there is a tendency toward impotence, and in both sexes, 
clear and voluminous urine or incontinence. 

Figure 16-8. The Kidney Channel of Foot-Lesser Yin 




Usually, Deficient Kidney Yin generates similar disorders in the Heart and 
Liver, while Deficient Kidney Yang disturbs the functions of the Spleen and 
Lungs. The progression could be in the opposite direction. When this pattern is 
associated with the Lungs, it is called “Kidney Not Receiving Qi,” a type of 
wheezing characterized by difficult breathing, mainly during inhalation. In addition 
to the Deficient Kidney Yang symptoms, this condition is also manifested by a 
faint voice, coughing, puffiness in the face, and spontaneous sweating. 

The Kidneys perform an important role in the metabolism of water. If these 


functions are disrupted, the condition of Deficient Kidneys will lead to Spreading 
Water. 

In Qigong practice, Essence (Jing) is considered the most original source of 
human vitality. Qi is converted from Essence, and this Qi supplies the entire body 
and nourishes the brain and spirit. It is believed by both Chinese medical and 
Qigong societies that the Kidneys are the residence of Original Essence. In order to 
protect your inherent Essence, you must strengthen your Kidneys. Only when your 
Kidneys are strong will you be able to keep your Essence at its residence. 
Therefore, keeping the Kidneys healthy has become one of the most important 
subjects in Qigong. 

Maintaining the Kidneys in a healthy state includes protecting the physical 
kidneys from degeneration, and maintaining a smooth and correct level of Qi flow. 
In order to reach this goal, the diet must be considered. For example, too much salt 
is harmful to the Kidneys. Eating too much eggplant will weaken the Kidneys. In 
addition, the condition of the body is also important. Such things as over-working 
without proper rest will increase tension on the Kidneys and make the Qi flow 
stagnant. In winter, the Kidneys will have more tension than in summer. Due to 
this, the Qi flow is more stagnant in the wintertime than in the summertime. 
Therefore, back pain problems increase in the winter. 

In order to protect the Kidneys, Qigong practitioners have studied the 
relationship of the Kidneys to nature, food, and even to emotional states. They have 
developed massage techniques and specific exercises to increase Qi circulation in 
the Kidneys during the winter. Since the health of the Kidneys is related to the 
emotions as well, learning how to regulate the mind in order to regulate the Qi has 
become one of the major training methods in Qigong. 



The Pericardium Channel of Hand — Absolute Yin (Figure 16-9) -f & & & & 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Pericardium — (2). Below the armpit — (3). Axilla — (4). Forearm — (5). 
Wrist — (6). Palm — (7). Tip of middle finger (Zhongchong, P-9). 

Course #2: 

(1). Pericardium — (8). Diaphragm — (9). Connects Triple Burner (Sanjiao). 
Course #3: 

(6). Palm (Laogong, P-8) — (10). Tip of ring finger (Guanchong, TB-1). 

2. Related Viscera 

Pericardium (Pertaining Organ) and Triple Burner (Sanjiao). 

3. Cavities 

Tianchi (P-1), Tianquan (P-2), Quze (P-3), Ximen (P-4), Jianshi (P-5), Neiguan (P- 
6), Daling (P-7), Laogong (P-8), and Zhongchong (P-9). 

4. Discussion 

The Pericardium (Yin) and the Triple Burner (Yang) are paired Organs. They 
are said to correspond to the “Ministerial Fire,” as opposed to the “Sovereign Fire” 
of the Heart and Small Intestine. Though the Pericardium has no separate 
physiological functions, it is generally mentioned with regard to the delirium 
induced by high fevers. 

The regulation of Qi in the Pericardium is considered a very important subject in 
Qigong. It is believed that the Heart, the most vital organ in your body, must have a 
proper level of Qi circulation in order to function normally. The Qi level of the 
Heart can be raised easily to an abnormal state by illness, emotional disturbance, 
exercise, or injury. The function of the Pericardium is to dissipate the excess Qi 
from the Heart and direct it to the Laogong cavity (P-8), located in the center of the 
palm. From Laogong, the excess Qi will be released naturally and hence, regulate 
the Heart’s Qi level. The Laogong cavity is used in Qigong massage to reduce the 
body’s temperature during a fever. You can see that the purpose of the Pericardium 
is to regulate the Qi in the Heart through the Laogong cavity. 

You should understand that in Qigong it is believed that there are five centers 
(called gates) where the Qi of the body is able to communicate with the 
surrounding environment, and, consequently, regulate the Qi level in your body. 
Two of these five centers are the Laogong cavities, and two others are Yongquan 
(K-l), used to regulate the Qi in the Kidneys. The fifth one is your face. The face is 
connected and related to many of your organs. Whenever any of your organ Qi is 
not normal, it shows on your face. 

Figure 16-9. The Pericardium Channel of Hand- Absolute Yin 




The Triple Burner Channel of Hand — Lesser Yang (Figure 16-10) $,?£ 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Tip of the ring finger (Guanchong, TB-1) — (2). Between the ossa metacarpal 

IV and V — (3). Wrist — (4). Dorsal side of the forearm (5). Passing the 

olecranon — (6). Lateral aspect of the upper arm (7). Shoulder — (8). Jianjing 

(GB-21) — (9). Enters the supraclavicular fossa — (10). Branches out in the chest, 
communicating with the pericardium — (11). Diaphragm — (12). Links 
successively the upper, middle, and lower portions of the body cavity. 

Course #2: 

(10). Shanzhong (Co-17) — (13). Supraclavicular fossa — (14). Neck (15). 

Dazhui (Gv-14) — (16). Posterior border of the ear — (17). Xuanli (GB-6) and 
Hanyan (GB-4) — (18). Quanliao (SI-18). 

Course #3: 

(19). Retro-auricular region where it enters the ear — (20). Emerges in front of the 
ear — (21). Lateral canthus. 

2. Related Viscera 

It pertains to the upper, middle and lower portions of the body cavity (Sanjiao) 
and communicates with the Pericardium. 

3. Cavities 

Guanchong (TB-1), Yemen (TB-2), Hand-Zhongzhu (TB-3), Yangchi (TB-4), 
Waiguan (TB-5), Zhigou (TB-6), Huizong (TB-7), Sanyangluo (TB-8), Sidu (TB- 
9), Tianjing (TB-10), Qinglengyuan (TB-11), Xiaoluo (TB-1 2), Naohui (TB-1 3), 
Jianliao (TB-14), Tianliao (TB-15), Tianyou (TB-16), Yifeng (TB-17), Qimai (TB- 
18), Luxi (TB-1 9), Jiaosun (TB-20), Ermen (TB-21), Ear-Heliao (TB-22), and 
Sizhukong (TB-23). 

4. Discussion 

At least as far back as the 3rd century A.D., in the Classic on Disorders (Nan 
Jing,l&4i) the Triple Burner was regarded as “having a name but no form.” In the 
Inner Classic (Nei Jing,^&.), the Triple Burner was considered an Organ that 
coordinated all the functions of water metabolism. In other traditional documents, 
the Burners were considered three regions of the body that were used to group the 
Organs. The Upper Burner includes the chest, neck, and head as well as the 
functions of the Heart and Lungs. The Middle Burner is the region between the 
chest and the navel, and includes the functions of the Stomach, Liver, and Spleen. 
The Lower Burner spans the lower abdomen, and the functions of the Kidneys and 
Urinary Bladder. Therefore, the Upper Burner has been compared to a mist which 
spreads the blood and Qi, the Middle Burner is like a foam which churns up food in 
the process of digestion, and the Lower Burner resembles a swamp where all the 
impure substances are excreted. 

Figure 16-10. The Triple Burner Channel of Hand-Lesser Yang 



I GB-4 



I — TB-i 

Regulating the Qi to a normally “smooth-flow” state is one of the main Qigong 
training methods for maintaining health. It is normally done through Wai Dan 
exercises, and it is believed that the Qi must flow around internal organs smoothly 
in order for them to maintain their normal functions. This means that in order to 
keep Qi flow smooth and the organs healthy, you must first learn how to regulate 
and relax muscles that are holding and related to a given organ. External 
movements also exercise internal muscles. One of the most common external 
exercises is regulating the Triple Burner by lifting your hands up above your head 
and then moving them down slowly. These up and down arm movements extend 


and relax the internal muscles and therefore increase Qi flow. 



The Gall Bladder Channel of Foot — Lesser Yang (Figure 16-11) 


A**## 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Outer canthus of the eye (Tongziliao, GB-1) — (2). Nose-Heliao (TB-22) — 
(3). Jiaosun (TB-20) — (4). Dazhui (Gv-14) — (5). Enters the supraclavicular 
fossa. 

Course #2: 

(6). Retro-auricular region, passes through Yifeng (TB-17) — (7). Tinggong (SI- 
19) and Xiaguan (S-7). 

Course #3: 

(1). Outer canthus of the eye — (8). Daying (S-5) — (9). Infraorbital region — 
(10). Jiache (S-6) — (11). Supraclavicular fossa — (12). Into the chest — (13). 

Tianchi (P-1) — (14). Communicates with the Liver (15). Pertains to the Gall 

Bladder — (16). Inside of the hypochondrium — (17). Around the pubes — (18). 
Hip (Huantiao, GB-30). 

Course #4: 

(19). Supraclavicular fossa — (20). Axilla — (21). Lateral aspect of the chest — 

(22). Through the hypochondrium — (23). Zhangmen (Li- 13) (24). Along the 

lateral aspect of thigh — (25). Knee — (26). Anterior aspect of the fibula — (27). 
Anterior aspect of the malleolus — (28). Lateral side of the tip of the 4th toe or 
Zuqiaoyin (GB-44). 

Course # 5 : 

(29). Dorsum of the foot (Linqi, GB-41) — (30). Big toe (Dadun, Li-1). 

2. Related Viscera 

Gall Bladder (Pertaining Organ), Liver, and Heart. 

3. Cavities 

Tongziliao (GB-1), Tinghui (GB-2), Shangguan (GB-3), Hanyan (GB-4), Xuanlu 
(GB-5), Xuanli (GB-6), Qubin (GB-7), Shuaigu (GB-8), Tianchong (GB-9), Fubai 
(GB-10), Head-Qiaoyin (GB-11), HeadWangu (GB-12), Benshen (GB-13), 
Yangbai (GB-14), Head-Linqi (GB15), Muchuang (GB-16), Zhengying (GB-17), 
Chengling (GB-18), Naokong (GB-19), Fengchi (GB-20), Jianjing (GB-21), 
Yuanye (GB-22), Zhejin (GB-23), Riyue (GB-24), Jingmen (GB-25), Daimai (GB- 
26), Wushu (GB-27), Weidao (GB-28), Femur-Juliao (GB-29), Huantiao (GB-30), 
Fengshi (GB-31), Femur-Zhongdu (GB-32), Xiyangguan (GB-33), Yanglingquan 
(GB-34), Yangjiao (GB-35), Waiqiu (GB-36), Guangming (GB-37), Yangfu (GB- 
38), Xuanzhong (GB-39), Qiuxu (GB-40), Foot-Linqi (GB-41), Diwuhui (GB-42), 
Xiaxi (GB-43), Foot-Qiaoyin (GB-44). 

4. Discussion 

The Liver (Yin) and the Gall Bladder (Yang) are paired Organs. They 
correspond to Wood in the Five Phases, the direction east, the spring season, the 
climactic wind, the color green, the emotion of anger, the taste of sour, the odor 
goatish, and the sound of shouting. Their point of entry is the eyes. They control 
the sinews (muscles and joints), and their health is reflected in the fingernails and 



toenails. 

The main function of the Gall Bladder is storing and excreting the gall produced 
by the Liver. Together with the Heart, the Gall Bladder is responsible for decision- 
making. 

The main disease related to the Gall Bladder is a disorder affecting the flow of 
gall, usually caused by Dampness and Heat. This is commonly manifested by pain 
in the region of the Liver, an oppressive sensation of fullness in the abdomen, and 
yellowish eyes, skin, urine, and tongue. 

The Gall Bladder has never enjoyed serious attention during Qigong training. Its 
paired partner the Liver however, has received much more attention. 



The Liver Channel of Foot — Absolute Yin (Figure 16-12) 


ft 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Behind the nail of the big toe — (2). Malleolus medialis (3). Sanyinjiao 

(Sp-6) — (4). Side of shin — (5). Side of knee — (6). Medial aspect of the thigh 
— (7). Chongmen (Sp-12) and Fushe (Sp-13) — (8). Pubic region — (9). Lower 
abdomen — (10). Qugu (Co-2), Zhongli (Co-3), and Guanyuan (Co-4) — (11). 
Liver — (12). Lower chest — (13). Neck posterior — (14). Upper palate — (15). 
Tissues of the eye — (16). Forehead — (17). Vertex. 

Figure 16-11. The Gall Bladder Channel of Foot-Lesser Yang 



■TB-&2 


GB-1 


Gv-14 





GB-41 



GEM 4 


Course #2: 

(15). Eye — (18). Cheek — (19). Curves around the inner surface of the lips. 
Course #3: 

(20). Liver — (21). Through diaphragm — (22). Lung. 

2. Related Viscera 

Liver (Pertaining Organ), Gall Bladder, Lung, Stomach, and brain. 


3. Cavities 

Dadun (L-l), Xingjian (L-2), Taichong (L-3), Zhongfeng (L-4), Ligou (L-5), Tibia- 
Zhongdu (L-6), Xiguan (L-7), Ququan (L-8), Yinbao (L-9), Femur-Wuli (L-10), 
Yinlian (L-l 1), Jimai (L-12), Zhangmen (L-13), and Qimen (L-14). 

4. Discussion 

The Liver (Yin) and the Gall Bladder (Yang) are considered paired Organs. 
They correspond to Wood in the Five Phases, the direction east, the spring season, 
the climactic of wind, the color of green, the emotion of anger, the taste of sour, the 
odor goatish, and the sound of shouting. Their point of entry is the eyes. They 
control the sinews (muscles and joints), and their health is reflected in the finger 
and toe nails. 

The main task of the Liver is spreading and regulating Qi throughout the entire 
body. Its unique character is flowing and free. Therefore, depression or frustration 
can disturb the functioning of the Liver. In addition, the Liver is also responsible 
for storing blood when the body is at rest. This characteristic, together with its 
control over the lower abdomen, makes it the most critical Organ in regards to 
women’s menstrual cycle and sexuality. 

Depression or long-term frustration can stagnate the Liver’s spreading function 
and result in continuing depression, a bad temper, and a painful, swollen feeling in 
the chest and sides. If this condition worsens, it may cause disharmony between the 
Liver and the Stomach and/or Spleen. This disorder is symbolized by the 
“rebellion” of Qi in the latter Organs, whereby Qi moves in the opposite direction 
than is normal. For example, the Stomach Qi normally descends, so rebellious Qi 
means hiccoughing, vomiting, etc. In the case of the Spleen, the Qi ordinarily 
moves upward, so rebellious Qi in this Organ means diarrhea. 

Depression of the Liver Qi is the main cause of many women’s disorders, 
including menstrual irregularities, swollen and painful breasts, etc. 

One of the most important responsibilities of the Liver is the storage of blood 
with intended emphasis upon nourishing and moistening. Whenever the Liver 
blood is deficient, the Liver will not be able to handle the function of moistening. 
This is generally shown as dry and painful eyes with blurred or weak vision, lack of 
suppleness or pain in moving the joints, dry skin, dizziness, and infrequent or 
spotty menstruation. If the Deficient Liver Yin has become serious, the conditions 
Rising Liver Fire or Hyper Liver Yang Ascending occur. These occurrences are 
evidenced in ill-temper, restlessness, headache, vertigo, red face and eyes, and a 
parched mouth. If the Liver Yin is so deficient that it is incapable of securing the 
Liver Yang, many of the symptoms appear as disorders of the head. Weakness in 
the lower joints may also be manifested. 

Figure 16-12. The Liver Channel of Foot- Absolute Yin 




The Liver is one of the five Yin Organs whose Qi level the Qigong practitioner 
wants to regulate. Since the Liver and the Gall Bladder are directly connected, 
when the Liver’s Qi is regulated, the Qi circulating in the Gall Bladder will also be 
regulated. Many methods have been developed for regulating the Liver Qi. Wai 
Dan Qigong works through the limbs. For example, when the arms are moved up 
and down, the internal muscles surrounding the Liver will be moved and the Qi 
around the Liver will be circulated smoothly. In Nei Dan Qigong, it is believed that 
the Liver is closely related to your mind. It is also believed that when your mind is 
regulated, the Qi circulation in the Liver will be normal and therefore the Liver will 


function properly. 



16-3. Important Points 


1. The Spleen, Liver, and Heart are the Organs with the most direct relationship with 
the blood. The Spleen filters the blood (modifying the blood’s structure), the Liver 
stores the blood, and the Heart moves it. Any problem associated with the blood 
will involve at least one of these Organs. 

2. The Liver and the Kidneys are closely related. Their channels cross in many places. 
The Liver stores blood; the Kidneys store Essence. These substances, both of which 
are Yin, have a considerable influence on the reproductive functions. 

3. The Heart (Upper Burner, Fire) and the Kidneys (Lower Burner, Water) keep each 
other in check and are dependent upon one another. The spirit of the Heart and the 
Essence of the Kidneys cooperate in establishing and maintaining human 
consciousness. 

4. The Spleen’s digestive function is associated with the distributive functions of the 
Liver. Disharmony between these two results in various digestive troubles. The 
transportive and digestive functions of the Spleen (also called the Middle Qi) 
depend upon the strength of the Kidney Yang. 

5. Although the Lungs govern Qi, Qi from the Lungs must mix with Essence from the 
Kidneys before Original Qi can be produced. The Lungs govern Qi, the Liver 
spreads Qi, and the Kidneys provide its basis. 



CHAPTER 17 


The Eight Extraordinary Qi Vessels 



17-1. Introduction 


The eight extraordinary Qi vessels and the twelve primary Qi channels (meridians) comprise the 
main part of the channel system. Most of the eight vessels branch out from the twelve primary 
channels and share the function of circulating Qi throughout the body. These vessels form a web of 
complex interconnections with the channels. At the same time, each has its own functional 
characteristics and clinic utility independent of the channels. 

Traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes the twelve primary organ-related channels and only two 
of the eight vessels (the Governing and the Conception Vessels). The other six vessels are not used 
very often simply because they are not understood as well as the other channels, and there is still a 
lot of research being conducted on them. Although they were discovered two thousand years ago, 
little has been written about them. There is a lot of research on the extraordinary vessels being 
conducted today, especially in Japan, but the results of one researcher often contradict the results that 
another has achieved. 

In this section we would like to compile and summarize the important points from the limited 
number of available documents. Since references from original Chinese sources are very scarce, and 
references from Western textbooks are tentative, esoteric, or in disagreement with one another, I 
have used my own judgment in selecting ideas and details. 



What are the Eight Vessels? 


The eight vessels are called “Qi Jing Ba Mai” (*5"&.^A6-). “Qi” means “odd, strange, or 
mysterious.” “Jing” means “meridian or channels.” “Ba” means “eight” and “Mai” means “vessels.” 
Qi Jing Ba Mai is then translated as “Odd Meridians and Eight Vessels” or “extraordinary meridian 
(EM).” Odd has a meaning of strange in Chinese. It is used simply because these eight vessels are not 
well understood yet. Many Chinese doctors explain that they are called “Odd” simply because there 
are four vessels that are not paired. Since these eight vessels also serve the function of homeostasis, 
sometimes they are called “Homeostatic Meridians.” French acupuncturists call them “Miraculous 
Meridians” because they were able to create therapeutic effects when all other techniques had failed. 
In addition, because each of these channels exerts a strong effect upon psychic functioning and 
individuality, the command points are among the most important psychological points in the body. 
For this reason, they are occasionally called “The Eight Psychic Channels.” 

These vessels are: 1. Governing Vessel (Du Mai,^$); 2. Conception Vessel (Ren Mai, 1 ^^.); 3. 
Thrusting Vessel (Chong Mai,^^.); 4. Girdle (or Belt) Vessel (Dai Mai,^^..); 5. Yang Heel Vessel 
(Yangchiao Mai, *£.*£); 6. Yin Heel Vessel (Yinchiao Mai,#'^ .); 7. Yang Linking Vessel 
(Yangwei Mai, $$*&); and 8. Yin Linking Vessel (Yinwei Mai, &##-). 



History 


The first brief mention of some of these eight vessels is found in the second part of the Nei Jing 
chapter of the book Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic,# # ft & # H)(Han 
dynasty, circa 100-300 B.C.) by Ling Shu (£*#). Also, some of the vessels were mentioned in Bian 
Que’s classic Nan Jing (Classic on Disorders,#* & ,)(Qin and Han dynasty, 221 B.C. to 220 
A.D.,& ' it). It was not until the 16th century that all eight vessels were deeply studied by Li, Shi- 
Zhen (1518-1593 A.D.,#! N?^) and revealed in his book Qi Jing Ba Mai Kao (ft*2vV*£ # )(Deep Study 
of the Extraordinary Eight Vessels). From then until only recently, very few documents have been 
published on this subject. Although there is more research being published, as yet, there is still no 
single document which is able to define this subject systematically and in depth. 



General Functions of the Eight Vessels 


Serve as Qi Reservoirs. Because the eight vessels are so different from each other, it is difficult to 
generalize their characteristics and functions. However, one of the most common characteristics of 
the eight vessels was specified by Bian Que in his Nan Jing. He reported that the twelve organ- 
related Qi channels constitute rivers, and the eight extraordinary vessels constitute reservoirs. The 
reservoirs, especially the Conception and Governing Vessels, absorb excess Qi from the main 
channels, and then return it when they are deficient. 

You should understand however, that because of the limited number of traditional documents, as 
well as the lack of modern, scientific methods of Qi research, it is difficult to determine the precise 
behavior and characteristics of these eight vessels. The main difficulty probably lies in the fact that 
they can be taken at different levels, because they perform different functions and contain every kind 
of Qi such as Ying Qi (% &), Wei Qi (1ft & ), Jing Qi (ttift.), and even blood. 

When the twelve primary channels are deficient in Qi, the eight vessels will supply it. This store of 
Qi can easily be tapped with acupuncture needles through those cavities which connect the eight 
vessels with the twelve channels. The connection cavities behave like the gate of a reservoir, which 
can be used to adjust the strength of the Qi flow in the rivers and the level of Qi in the reservoir. 
Sometimes, when it is necessary, the reservoir will release Qi by itself. For example, when a person 
has had a shock, either physically or mentally, the Qi in some of the main channels will be deficient. 
This will cause particular organs to be stressed, and Qi will accumulate rapidly around these organs. 
When this happens, the reservoir must release Qi to increase the deficient circulation and prevent 
further damage. 

Guarding Specific Areas Against ‘Evil Qi’. The Qi which protects the body from outside intruders 
is called “Wei Qi” (Guardian Qi). Among the eight vessels, the Thrusting Vessel, the Governing 
Vessel, and the Conception Vessel play major roles in guarding the abdomen, thorax, and the back. 

Regulating the Changes of Life Cycles. According to chapter 1 of “Su Wen” (£ M ), the Thrusting 
Vessel and the Conception Vessel also regulate the changes of the life cycles which occur at 7 year 
intervals for women and 8 year intervals for men. 

Circulating Jing Qi to the Entire Body, Particularly the Five ‘Ancestral Organs’. One of the most 
important functions of the eight vessels is to deliver Jing Qi (Essence Qi, which has been converted 
from Original Essence and sexual Essence) to the entire body, including the skin and hair. They must 
also deliver Jing Qi to the five ancestral organs: the brain and spinal cord, the liver and gall bladder 
system, the bone marrow, the uterus, and the blood system. 



17-2. The Eight Extraordinary Vessels 



The Governing Vessel (Du Mai) (Figure 17-1) 


1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Perineum — (2). Along the middle of the spine — (3). Fengfu (Gv-16) — (4). 
Enters the brain — (5). Vertex — (6). Midline of the forehead across the bridge of 
the nose — (7). Upper lip. 

Course #2: 

(8). Pelvic region — (9). Descends to the genitals and perineum (10). Tip of 

the coccyx — (11). Gluteal region (intersects the Kidney and Urinary Bladder 
Channels) — (12). Returns to the spinal column and then joins with the Kidneys. 
Course #3: 

(13). Inner canthus of the eye — (14). Two (bilateral) branches, ascend across the 
forehead — (15). Converge at the vertex (enters the brain) — (16). Emerges at the 
lower end of the nape of the neck — (17). Divides into two branches which 
descend along opposite sides of the spine to the waist — (18). Kidneys. 

Course #4: 

(19). Lower abdomen — (20). Across the navel — (21). Passes through the Heart 
— (22). Enters the trachea — (23). Crosses the cheek and encircles the mouth — 
(24). Terminates at a point below the middle of the eye. 

***This vessel intersects Fengmen (B-12) and Huiyin (Co-1). 

2. Cavities 

Changqiang (Gv-1), Yaoshu (Gv-2), Yaoyangguan (Gv-3), Mingmen (Gv-4), 
Xuanshu (Gv-5), Jizhong (Gv-6), Zhongshu (Gv-7), Jinsuo (Gv-8), Zhiyang (Gv- 
9), Lingtai (Gv-10), Shendao (Gv-11), Shenzhu (Gv-12), Taodao (Gv-13), Dazhui 
(Gv-14), Yamen (Gv-15), Fengfu (Gv-16), Naohu (Gv-17), QiangJian (Gv-18), 
Houding (Gv-1 9), Baihui (Gv-20), Qianding (Gv-21), Xinhui (Gv-22), Shangxing 
(Gv-23), Shenting (Gv-24), Suliao (Gv-25), Renzhong (Gv-26), Duiduan (Gv-27), 
and Yinjiao (Gv-28). 

3. Discussion 

The Governing Vessel is the confluence of all the Yang channels, over which it 
is said to “govern.” Because it controls all the Yang channels, it is called the “Sea 
of Yang Meridians.” This is apparent from its pathway because it flows on the 
midline of the back, a Yang area, and in the center of all Yang channels (except the 
Stomach Channel which flows in the front). The Governing Vessel governs all the 
Yang channels, which means that it can be used to increase the Yang energy of the 
body. 

Since the Governing Vessel is the “Sea of Yang Meridians” and it controls or 
governs the back, the area richest in Guardian Qi (Wei Qi), it is also responsible for 
the circulation of the body’s Guardian Qi to guard against external evil intruders. 
The circulation of Guardian Qi starts from Fengfu (Gv-16), and moves down the 
Governing Vessel to Huiyin (Co-1). It is said that it takes 21 days for the Guardian 
Qi to flow from Fengfu to Huiyin, and 9 days from Huiyin to the throat, making it 
a monthly cycle. 



According to Chinese medical science, Guardian Qi is Yang Qi and therefore 
represents the “Fire” of the body. Its quick and ubiquitous circulation keeps the fire 
going in the body and controls the loss of body heat. Guardian Qi is also 
inextricably linked with the fluids that flow outside the channels, in the skin and 
flesh. Consequently, through the breathing (under control of the Lungs), Guardian 
Qi is responsible for the opening and the closing of the pores, and also controls the 
sweat. 



The Governing Vessel is also responsible for nourishing the five ancestral 
organs, which include the brain and spinal cord. This is one of the ways in which 
the Kidneys “control” the brain, as is said in Chinese medicine. 


Because of their importance to health, the Governing Vessel and the Conception 
Vessel are considered the two most important Qi channels to be trained in Qigong, 
especially in Nei Dan. Training related to these two vessels includes: 1. How to fill 
them with Qi so that you have enough to regulate the twelve channels; 2. How to 
open up stagnant areas in these two vessels so that the Qi flows smoothly and 
strongly; 3. How to effectively direct the Qi to nourish the brain and raise up the 
Shen; 4. How to effectively govern the Qi in the twelve channels, and nourish the 
organs; 5. How to use your raised Shen to lead the Guardian Qi to the skin and 
strengthen the Guardian Qi shield covering your body 

In Nei Dan Qigong training, when you have filled up the Qi in these two vessels 
and can effectively circulate the Qi in them, you have achieved the “Small 
Circulation.” In order to do this, you must know how to convert the Essence stored 
in the Kidneys into Qi, circulate this Qi in the Governing and Conception Vessels, 
and finally lead this Qi to the head to nourish the brain and Shen (spirit). 



The Conception Vessel (Ren Mai)(Figure 17-2) 




1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Lower abdomen below Qugu (Co-2) — (2). Ascends along the Midline of the 

abdomen and chest — (3). Crosses the throat and jaw (4). Winds around the 

mouth — (5). Terminates in the region of the eye. 

Course #2: 

(6). Pelvic cavity — (7). Enters the spine and ascends along the back. 

***This vessel intersects Chengqi (S-l) and Yinjiao (Gv-28). 

2. Cavities 

Huiyin (Co-1), Qugu (Co-2), Zhongli (Co-3), Guanyuan (Co-4), Shimen (Co-5), 
Qihai (Co-6), Abdomen-Yinjiao (Co-7), Shenjue (Co-8), Shuifen (Co-9), Xiawan 
(Co-10), Jianli (Co-11), Zhongwan (Co-12), Shangwan (Co-13), Juque (Co-14), 
Jiuwei (Co-15), Zhongting (Co-16), Shanzhong (Co-17), Yutang (Co-18), Chest- 
Zigong (Co-19), Huagai (Co-20), Xuanji (Co-21), Tiantu (Co-22), Lianquan (Co- 
23), and Chengjiang (Co-24). 

3. Discussion 

“Ren” in Chinese means “direction, responsibility.” Ren Mai, the “Conception 
Vessel,” has a major role in Qi circulation, directing and being responsible for all 
of the Yin channels (plus the Stomach Channel). The Conception Vessel is 
connected to the Thrusting and Yin Linking Vessels, and is able to increase the Yin 
energy of the body. 

Figure 17-2. The Conception Vessel (Ren Mai) 




This vessel nourishes the uterus (one of the five ancestral organs) and the whole 
genital system. It is said in the Nei Jing that the Conception and Thrusting Vessels 
contain both blood and Essence (Jing), and both flow up to the face and around the 
mouth. They contain more blood than Essence in men, and thus promote the 
growth of the beard and body hair. Because women lose blood with their 
menstruation, they contain proportionately less blood and hence, no beard or body 
hair. 

It was described in the Su Wen that both the Conception and Thrusting Vessels 
control the life cycles every 7 years for women and every 8 years for men. It is the 
changes taking place in these vessels at those intervals that promote the major 
alterations in our lives. 

In addition, the Conception Vessel also controls the distribution and “dispersion” 
of Guardian Qi all over the abdomen and thorax via numerous small Qi branches 
(Luo). This vessel also plays an important role in the distribution of body fluids in 
the abdomen. 

In Qigong society, this vessel and the Governing Vessel are considered the most 
important among the Qi channels and vessels, and must be trained first. It is 


believed that there is usually no significant Qi stagnation in the Conception Vessel. 
However, it is important to increase the amount of Qi you are able to store, which 
also increases your ability to regulate the Yin channels. 



The Thrusting Vessel (Chong Mai)(Figure 17-3) 




1. Course 
Course #1: 

(1). Lower abdomen — (2). Emerges along the Path of Qi — (3). Tracks the course 
of the Kidney Channel — (4). Ascends through the abdomen — (5). Skirts the 
navel — (6). Disperses in the chest. 

Course #2: 

(6). Chest — (7). Ascends across the throat — (8). Face — (9). Nasal cavity. 

Course #3: 

(1). Lower abdomen — (10). Below the Kidney — (1 1). Emerges along the Path of 
Qi — (12). Descends along the medial aspect of the thigh — (13). Popliteal fossa 

— (14). Medial margin of the tibia and the posterior aspect of the medial malleolus 

— (15). Bottom of the foot. 

Course #4: 

(16). Tibia — (17). Toward the lateral margin of the bone — (18). Enters the heel 

— (19). Crosses the tarsal bones of the foot — (20). Big toe. 

Course #5: 

(21). Pelvic cavity — (22). Enter the spine and circulates through the back. 

Figure 17-3. The Thrusting Vessel (Chong Mai) 




***This vessel intersects Huiyin (Co-1), Yinjiao (Co-7), Qichong (S-30), Henggu 
(K-ll), Dahe (K-12), Qixue (K-13), Siman (K-14), Zhongzhu (K-15), Huangshu 
(K-16), Shangqu (K-17), Shiguan (K-18), Yindu (K-19), Tonggu (K-20), and 
Youmen (K-21). 


2. Discussion 


One of the major purposes of the Thrusting Vessel is to connect, to 
communicate, and to mutually support the Conception Vessel. Because of this 
mutual Qi support, both can effectively regulate the Qi in the Kidney Channel. The 
Kidneys are the residence of Original Qi and are considered one of the most vital 
Yin organs. 

The Thrusting Vessel is considered one of the most important and decisive 
vessels in successful Qigong training, especially in Marrow/Brain Washing. There 
are many reason for this. The first reason is that this vessel intersects two cavities 
on the Conception Vessel: Huiyin (Co-1) and Yinjiao (Co-7). Huiyin means 
“meeting with Yin” and is the cavity where the Yang and Yin Qi is transferred. 
Yinjiao means “Yin junction” and is the cavity where the Original Qi (Water Qi, or 
Yin Qi) interfaces with the Fire Qi created from food and air. The Thrusting Vessel 
also connects with eleven cavities on the Kidney Channel. The Kidney is 
considered the residence of Original Essence (Yuan Jing), which is converted into 
Original Qi (Yuan Qi). 

The second reason for the importance of the Thrusting Vessel in Qigong training 
is that this vessel is connected directly to the spinal cord and reaches up to the 
brain. The major goal of Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong is to lead the Qi into the 
spinal cord and then further on to the head, nourishing the brain and spirit (Shen). 

And finally, the third reason is found in actual Qigong practice. There are three 
common training paths: Fire, Wind, and Water. In Fire path Qigong, the emphasis 
is on the Fire or Yang Qi circulating in the Governing Vessel and therefore 
strengthening the muscles and organs. The Fire path is the main Qi training in 
Muscle/Tendon Changing (Yi Jin Jing) Qigong. However, the Fire path can also 
cause the body to become too Yang, and therefore speed up the process of 
degeneration. In order to adjust the Fire to a proper level, Marrow/Brain Washing 
Qigong is also trained. This uses the Water Path, in which Qi separates from the 
route of the Fire Path at the Huiyin cavity (Co-1), enters the spinal cord, and finally 
reaches up to the head. The Water Path teaches how to use Original Qi to cool 
down the body, and then to use this Qi to nourish the brain and train the spirit. 
Learning to adjust the Fire and Water Qi circulation in the body is called Kan-Li 
(Jfcft y which means Water-Fire. You can see from this that the Thrusting Vessel 
plays a very important role in Qigong training. 



The Girdle Vessel (Dai Mai)(Figure 17-4) 




1. Course 

(1). Below the hypochondrium at the level of the 2nd lumbar vertebra — (2). Turns 
downward and encircles the body at the waist like a girdle. 

***This vessel intersects Daimai (GB-26), Wushu (GB-27), and Weidao (GB-28). 

2. Discussion 

The major purpose of the Girdle Vessel is to regulate the Qi of the Gall Bladder. 
It is also responsible for the Qi’s horizontal balance. If you have lost this balance, 
you will have lost your center and balance both mentally and physically. 

From the point of view of Qigong, the Girdle Vessel is also responsible for the 
strength of the waist area. When Qi is full and circulating smoothly, back pain will 
be avoided. In addition, because the Kidneys are located nearby, this vessel is also 
responsible for Qi circulation around the Kidneys, maintaining the Kidneys’ health. 
Most important of all for the Girdle Vessel is the fact that the Lower Dan Tian is 
located in its area. In order to lead Original Qi from the Kidneys to the Lower Dan 
Tian, the waist area must be healthy and relaxed. This means that the Qi flow in the 
waist area must be smooth. The training of the Girdle Vessel is discussed in the 
book: The Essence of Shaolin White Crane, available from YMAA Publication 
Center. 



The Yang Heel Vessel (Yangchiao Mai)(Figure 17-5) 


1. Course 

(1). Below the lateral malleolus at Shenmai (B-62) — (2). Ascends along the lateral 
aspect of the leg — (3). Posterior aspect of the hypochondrium — (4). Lateral side 
of the shoulder — (5). Traverses the neck — (6). Passes beside the mouth — (7). 
Inner canthus (joins the Yin Heel Vessel and the Urinary Bladder Channel) — (8). 

Ascends across the forehead — (9). Winds behind the ear to Fengchi (GB-20) 

(10). Enters the brain at Fengfu (Gv-16). 

***This vessel intersects Shenmai (B-62), Pushen (B-61), Fuyang (B-59), 
Jingming (B-l), Juliao (GB-29), Fengchi (GB-20), Naoshu (SI-10), Jugu (LI-16), 
Jianyu (LI-15), Dicang (S-4), Juliao (S-3), Chengqi (S-l), and Fengfu (Gv-16). 

2. Discussion 

While the preceding four vessels (Governing, Conception, Thrusting, and 
Girdle) are located in the trunk, this and the next three are located in the trunk and 
legs. (In addition, each of these four vessels is paired.) For millions of years, man 
has been walking on his legs, which do much more strenuous work than the arms. I 
believe that because of this, as evolution proceeded, the legs gradually developed 
these vessels for Qi storage and supply. If this is true, it may be that as time goes on 
and man uses his legs less and less, in a few million years these vessels will 
gradually disappear. 

You can see from the way that the Yang Heel Vessel intersect with other Qi 
channels that it regulates the Yang channels, such as the Urinary Bladder, the Gall 
Bladder, the Small Intestine, and the Large Intestine. The Yang Heel Vessel is also 
connected with the Governing Vessel. The Qi filling this vessel is supplied mainly 
through exercising the legs, which converts the food Essence or fat stored in the 
legs. This Qi is then led upward to nourish the Yang channels. It is believed in 
Qigong that, since this vessel is also connected with your brain, certain leg 
exercises can be used to cure headaches. Since a headache is caused by excess Qi in 
the head, exercising the legs will draw this Qi downward to the leg muscles and 
relieve the pressure in the head. 

Figure 17-4. The Girdle Vessel (Dai Mai) 




Figure 17-5. The Yang Heel Vessel (Yangchiao Mai) and The Yin Heel Vessel 

(Yinchiao Mai) 


7 



Most of the training that relates to this vessel is Wai Dan. Wai Dan Qigong is 
considered Yang, and specializes in training the Yang channels, while Nei Dan 
Qigong is considered relatively Yin and emphasizes the Yin channel more. 


The Yin Heel Vessel (Yinchiao Mai)(Figure 17-5) 




1. Course 

(1). Zhaohai (K-6) below the medial malleolus — (2). Extends upward along the 
medial aspect of the leg — (3). Crossing the perineum and chest entering the 
supraclavicular fossa — (4). Ascends through the throat and emerges in front of 
Renying (S-9) — (5). Traverses the medial aspect of the cheek — (6). Inner 
canthus (joins the Urinary Bladder Channel and Yang Heel Vessels) — (7). 
Ascends over the head and into the brain. 

***This vessel intersects Zhaohai (K-6), Jiaoxin (K-8), and Jingming (B-l). 

2. Discussion 

The Yin Heel Vessel is connected with two cavities of the Kidney Channel. 
Therefore, one of the major sources of Qi for this vessel is the conversion of the 
Kidney Essence into Qi. It is believed in Qigong society that the other major Qi 
source is the Essence of the external Kidneys (testicles). In Marrow/Brain Washing 
Qigong, one of the training processes is to stimulate the testicles in order to 
increase the hormone production and increase the conversion of the Essence into 
Qi. At the same time, you would learn how to lead the Qi in this vessel up to the 
head to nourish the brain and spirit (Shen). With this nourishment, you would be 
able to reach Buddhahood or enlightenment. From a health and longevity point of 
view, the raised spirit will be able to efficiently direct the Qi of the entire body and 
maintain your health. 



The Yang Linking Vessel (Yangwei Mai)(Figure 17-6) 


1. Course 

(1). Jinmen (B-63) on the heel — (2). Ascends along the lateral aspect of the leg — 
(3). Lower abdomen — (4). Slants upward across the posterior aspect of the 
hypochondrium — (5). Across the posterior axillary fold to the shoulder — (6). 
Ascends the neck and crosses behind the ear — (7). Proceeds to the forehead — 
(8). Doubles back over the head — (9). Fengfu (Gv-16). 

***This vessel intersects Jinmen (B-63), Yangjiao (GB-35), Jianjing (GB-21), 
Fengchi (GB-20), Naokong (GB-19), Chengling (GB-18), Zhengying (GB-17), 
Muchuang (GB-16), Head-Linqi (GB-15), Yangbai (GB-14), Benshen (GB-13), 
Tianliao (TB-15), Naoshu (SI-10), Yamen (Gv-15), Fengfu (Gv-16), and Touwei 
(S-8). 

Figure 17-6. The Yang Linking Vessel (Yangwei Mai) and The Yin Linking Vessel 

(Yinwei Mai) 




2. Discussion 

The Yang Linking Vessel regulates the Qi mainly in the Yang channels: the 
Urinary Bladder, Gall Bladder, Triple Burner, Small Intestine, and Stomach 
Channels. It is also connected with the Governing Vessel at Yamen (Gv-15) and 


Fengfu (Gv-16). This vessel and the Yang Heel Vessel have not been emphasized 
much in Qigong, except in Iron Shirt training where these two and the Governing 
Vessel are trained. 



The Yin Linking Vessel (Yinwei Mai)(Figure 17-6) 




1. Course 

(1). Lower leg at Zhubin (K-9) — (2). Ascending along the medial aspect of the leg 
— (3). Enters the lower abdomen — (4). Upward across the chest — (5). Throat 
(meets Tiantu (Co-22) and Lianquan (Co-23)). 

***This vessel intersects Zhubin (K-9), Chongmen (Sp-12), Fushe (Sp-13), 
Daheng (Sp-15), Fuai (Sp-16), Qimen (Li-14), Tiantu (Co-22), and Lianquan (Co- 
23). 

2. Discussion 

The Yin Linking Vessel has connections with the Kidney, Spleen, and Liver Yin 
channels. The Yin Linking Vessel also communicates with the Conception Vessel 
at two cavities. This vessel is not trained much in Qigong. 



PART FOUR 


Conclusion 



CHAPTER 18 


One Hundred and One Questions 

Because many of the Qigong practices have been kept secret in the past, many theories and methods 
have been passed down randomly. Only in the last twenty years have most of these secrets been 
revealed to the general public. Finally, interested practitioners have the opportunity to learn the 
secrets of other styles. Even so, because of the long years of secrecy, many of the documents that are 
available to us remain incomplete or unconfirmed. To compile all of these documents and finalize a 
systematic summary of theoretical explanations is very difficult. During the course of my study and 
research, many questions and answers have arisen. Some answers seem accurate but need further 
verification through modern technology. Some of the questions are beyond any test which can be 
done with modern scientific equipment. 

In addition, you should understand that since most Qigong was created in an ancient time, and 
with different cultural foundations than our society, many new situations must be considered and 
studied. For example, human beings never had the opportunity to travel from one side of the world to 
the other in 12 hours until very recently. What happens to the Qi circulation in a human body after 
such a trip? How is the Qi circulation affected by the inverted schedule of a night shift worker? How 
does the gasoline exhaust produced by automobiles affect the Qi circulation? How do nuclear 
experiments affect the natural Qi balance? How do radio waves influence the body’s Qi circulation? 

Many other questions have been generated as we recognize the affect of the Earth’s magnetic field 
on our bodies’ energy. When you meditate on the North pole it will be different from meditating on 
the South pole. Since most traditional Qigong and meditating methods were developed in the 
Northern Hemisphere of the earth, can the people living in the Southern Hemisphere use the same 
theory and methods to obtain the same results, or must we modify the methods and theory? 

These questions keep appearing in my mind. Some questions may be due to my limited 
understanding of Qigong training, while others are generated from advances in modern science. I 
believe that during the course of my continuing research, over the rest of my life, many of these 
questions will be answered. I also hope that I will obtain some of the answers from other experienced 
Qigong masters. Many of the questions need to be tested or proven through experimentation 
involving modern equipment. These questions will be answered when a thorough scientific study is 
conducted. Some of the questions may remain mysteries, since I firmly believe that nobody is able to 
reach the level of Qigong practice attained by earlier masters. 

The following are some of the questions I have had. I hope that you will keep these questions or 
any question you might have in your mind during the course of your study, so that one day you will 
come to realize that you know much more than anybody else. 



About Essence 


1. How is Original Essence stored in the Kidneys? Chinese medicine and Qigong 
society tell us that a person’s Original Essence is stored in the Kidneys. How is it 
stored? 

2. Why is Original Essence stored in the Kidneys instead of other organs? We need a 
theoretical explanation and experimental proof for this. 

3. If Original Essence is stored in the Kidneys, then what about those people who 
have only one Kidney? Will the person with only one Kidney die earlier? Will the 
Original Essence stored in the single Kidney be enough for life? Will the Original 
Essence-Qi conversion be reduced? 

4. How can we tell a person whose Original Essence is strong from someone whose is 
weak? Normally, it was judged from the spirit of vitality and the state of health of a 
person, but there is no standard for this. Is there any scientific way of judging this? 

5. Can we see Original Essence? Is it material? Is it the source of hormones? Can we 
see it in a dead body? 

6. Is Original Essence the genes or hormones? Judging from descriptions in many 
sources, I am led to believe that the genes and hormones might be what the ancient 
Chinese called Original Essence, or at least be closely related. 

7. Can the quantity of the Original Essence be increased and the quality improved 
through modern technology? 



About Qi and Bioenergy 


1. Is the traditional concept of human Qi the same as bioelectromagnetic energy, or is 
it a mixture of a number of types of energy? Many Qigong practitioners are not 
completely convinced that human Qi is merely a bioelectromagnetic energy 
circulating in the body. Many Qigong phenomena cannot be explained 
satisfactorily by bioelectromagnetic science. For example, how can a Qigong 
master hold a burning coal in his hand without being burned? 

2. How do we standardize the measurement of Qi level? A unit system is necessary. 
Many different types of equipment have been designed to measure the Qi level in 
terms of heat (infrared), temperature rise, and electricity. Since human Qi has not 
been defined, there is no specific equipment which we are convinced is the most 
accurate method for measuring Qi. However, if it is proven that Qi is human 
electromagnetic energy, then we will be able to use an electric unit system to define 
the level of Qi. 

3. Since the general definition of Qi is universal energy, how do we relate all kinds of 
different energy into one, if it is possible? To me, there is no absolute way to relate 
them. You cannot use the unit system which is used for measuring heat to measure 
electricity. Therefore, it may be more feasible to add an extra word in front of Qi to 
distinguish them, for example “heat Qi” or “electric Qi.” 

4. When Qi is transferred from one person to another, what, other than heat and 
bioelectricity, is transferred? I have often wondered how one person can be more 
effective in transferring his Qi than another person. There must be some extra 
power which is transferred to the patient emotionally to help the patient himself 
build up an EMF and cure himself internally. What is this power — brain wave, 
emotional touch, or self-confidence buildup? 

5. Why was the character for the Chinese word Qi changed? Was this change caused 
by confusion due to similar pronunciation? Many times it is found that ancient 
words are confused with other words because their pronunciation is similar. Since 
most Chinese people could neither write nor read, this idea seems plausible. If it 
was so, how could those Qigong experts or medical doctors let it happen? Or was it 
changed purposely in order to distinguish Human Qi (Chinese word meaning “no 
fire”) from other natural energies? I cannot find any document which explains this 
difference satisfactorily. 

6. Why has the character for “air” supplanted the ancient word for Qi (which meant 
“no fire”)? The character meaning “air” is commonly used by the Chinese as a 
general term for different kinds of energy. This has confused me from the 
beginning of my Qigong practice. One of the most plausible explanations is the 
following: Air or oxygen (called Kong Qi) does not change its form when it is 
taken into the body and delivered to the cells to be converted through biochemical 
reaction into carbon dioxide. On the other hand, the food Essence must be 
converted into a form of bioenergy before it can be absorbed by the body. Is it why 
the “air” Qi is used to represent energy? 

7. What is the scientific explanation for the halo around the head, or the glow around 
the body, of a meditator? Though I try to explain these phenomena as air de- 
ionization generated by the body’s electrical charge, an experiment needs to be 



conducted to determine whether this is true. 

8. How can Qi be used to bounce someone away with only a touch? We have heard in 
the Chinese martial arts that a very good Qigong master is able to bounce (or 
shock) an enemy away with a simple touch. When someone touches a high voltage 
wire, his body reacts instinctively to protect him, and bounces him away. The wire 
does not exert any physical power. Is this what happens with the Qigong master? 
Does he pass electricity into the other person’s heart so that his body bounces him 
away instinctively? 

9. How exactly does Qi nourish the blood, nerves, and cells? 

10. If Qi is bioelectricity, how can we use modern technology to increase bioelectric 
circulation in the body and reach the same goals as the Qigong practices which 
allow us to obtain health, longevity and spiritual enlightenment? It was not possible 
to generate electrical and magnetic fields in ancient times; however, it is very easy 
to create them today. We should be able to find a way to use external electrical or 
magnetic fields to increase the circulation, correct the level of Qi, and keep the 
marrow clean. Naturally, caution is always the first consideration. We do not know 
yet how this modern technology will affect us. It may produce adverse reactions. 
How can a field which is created through external processes duplicate the mental 
calmness necessary for enlightenment? Even if the circulation can be opened, will 
not attachment to the world inhibit clarity of focus? Won’t there then be the danger 
of people who are exceptionally powerful physically who do not have the 
discipline to control their power? It will be necessary to do research on a very wide 
scale. 

11. How do clouds and fog affect the Qi circulation in the body? We know that low 
clouds are able to generate an electric field which affects the human energy field. 
Does fog do this as well? When you are in fog, do the charges surround you 
uniformly? Can this affect your Qi circulation? 



About Spirit (Shen) 


1. When does the spirit start in a baby? How do we know if a baby has spirit or not, 
and how do we determine when it first has spirit? Does it have spirit before birth, 
or only after it is separated from its mother? 

2. How is spirit generated in a newly born baby? Where does spirit originate? Does it 
start when a baby starts to think? Does it exist only in humans? 

3. What are the differences between the spirit and the soul? Since there is no exact 
translation from Chinese into English, I will need the exact difference and 
definition of these words. 

4. Can the spirit and soul exist even if there is no physical life form? It is believed in 
the Chinese religions that the spirit and soul can exist even after death. Are spirit 
and soul an energy form? Are they part of the non-human natural energy, or are 
they the residues of human energy? 

5. How do we define spirit (Shen) and mind? The relationship between the Shen and 
the mind is very confusing. Is Shen generated from mind? If Shen must be 
generated from mind, then can Shen exist after physical death? If Shen can exist 
after death, does this Shen have a mind and can it think independently? How do 
they relate to brain waves? Can Shen be measured? 

6. How do we generate a “spiritual baby Shen” in Qigong training? In Qigong, in 
order to reach the final goal of enlightenment you must train yourself until you 
have given birth to a baby Shen. Only when this baby has grown to be independent 
will your spirit not die, but live forever. Is this true? Scientifically, how can this 
happen? Can we use modern science to explain this, or is it still beyond what 
today’s science can grasp? If we believe that a highly cultivated mind is able to 
speed up the process of evolution, then this mind may be able to reach many other 
things which are still beyond human understanding. The science we understand is 
still in the infant stage. Remember, we cannot use today’s science to gauge the 
potential of science. 

7. Does a newborn child need an already-existing spirit? Some religions say that a 
newborn baby does in order to form a complete human. If so, where does this spirit 
come from? From the people who died before? If a newborn baby needs this pre- 
existing spirit, then how does the population keep increasing? Where do the new 
spirits originate? Do they come from the sun, or universal energy? Could spirits 
from other planets immigrate to the earth and be born into human bodies? 

8. Is there another dimension which we cannot usually see, but, when the time is 
right, we are able to touch? There are many accounts of very sick or dying people 
being able to see or sense the same kind of new world. Is this a spirit world? Is this 
a new dimension which we cannot see until the time is right? How do we reach this 
dimension from the scientific standpoint? 

9. Does spirit make its own decisions or is it affected by natural Qi? Can a spirit 
think? How can it help a person who is alive? Through brain wave communication? 
Or is a spirit only some human energy residue roaming around in the energy world 
and being affected by surrounding energy forces? 

10. Do the spirits of enlightened people who have died continue to exist? If so, can 
these spirits help the living? Remember if your answer is yes, you have agreed that 



the spirit and soul can exist even after your death. When you pray, do you actually 
receive help from God or the spirits of the dead, or are you helping yourself by 
building your self-confidence? 

11. Can a highly concentrated mind make an object move without touching it? What 
is the theory behind this phenomenon? We have heard of people who are able to 
move things through thinking. If this is true, then how can brain wave energy 
become so strong that it can do this? Are miracles done with brain waves? 

12. Can the spirit really leave a living body and travel, or is it only that the brain 
waves sense something and match its frequency so that you can be aware of it? 
Also, we have heard that when someone is hypnotized, he is able to sense many 
things which are beyond his capability while he is in a normal state of 
consciousness. Is this similar to what happens when a person seems to leave his 
body during meditation? 

13. When someone is able to communicate with animals, is this brain wave 
correspondence? I once saw a woman on a live TV show who seemed to be able to 
communicate with all kinds of dogs. The information she learned was verified by 
the owners. If this was real, was it brain wave communication? Do the brains of 
animals and man function on the same frequency band, or do the bands just 
partially overlap? 

14. Can one person affect another person’s thinking through brain wave 
correspondence? 

15. Can modern technology create an electromagnetic wave whose wavelength is 
close to or equivalent to the human brain wave? Our technology seems to have 
already progressed that far. If this is so, will a brain wave machine be able to 
generate a wave which will affect your thinking and judgment? This would truly be 
“brainwashing.” Will the wars of the future be wars of brain wave machines? 

16. If it is possible to make a brain wave machine, can we determine what frequencies 
are associated with crime and then somehow block those frequencies? Is it possible 
to really brainwash criminals? Of course, if such a machine fell into the hands of 
criminals, they would have a powerful tool for evil. Can we accept the moral 
responsibility for changing an individual’s brain wave? 

17. Can a good Qigong meditator avoid being controlled and affected by a brain wave 
machine? Personally, I believe that a Qigong practitioner who has reached the stage 
of regulating his mind effectively would be able to avoid the effects of a brain 
wave machine. However, how long would he be able to do this? 

18. What is the width of the brain wave band? What existing materials can shield 
them out? Metal is usually a good insulator against radio waves, but can it also 
keep out brain waves? If not, is there any material which can be used to shield 
against brain waves? 

19. What is the relationship between spirit (Shen) and brain waves? I personally 
believe that when your Shen is high, your brain waves will be stronger and, 
probably, more focused. Is this true? 



About Channels, Vessels, and Cavities 


1. In ancient times, how did they find out about and locate Qi channels, vessels, and 
cavities? There is no record of how those ancient Chinese doctors discovered this. 
How did they find them with such accuracy? How did they learn how to use them 
to cure illness? 

2. How do plugged up channels interfere with the Qi flow? This is a simple question, 
but the answer is not easy. It will take the most advanced technology to find out 
exactly how the Qi channels are plugged up. Is it caused by an accumulation of fat 
which significantly reduces the tissue’s electric conductivity, or simply by some 
defect in the body’s electrically conductive tissues? 

3. How do the channels conduct Qi? How many stimuli can make the Qi move? If Qi 
is a bioelectric energy, then the question is: how many EMF’s are there which can 
make the energy move, and where are they? 

4. How do the vessels store Qi? If Qi is bioelectric energy, then is a Qi vessel like a 
battery or a capacitor which is able to store and release energy when necessary? 

5. What do the Qi channels and vessels actually look like? So far, no one has been 
able to show an accurate drawing. However, if they are areas where the electrical 
conductivity is different than elsewhere, then we should be able to conduct 
experiments to find out just how the Qi channels and vessels are shaped. 

6. How can we design a highly sensitive machine to accurately locate all of these Qi 
channels and cavities? This would be very helpful for acupuncture practice. 

7. Why are there four vessels on the legs and none on the arms? Is it because people 
use their legs more than their arms? I believe that the vessels in the legs evolved to 
supply extra Qi to the legs and regulate it more efficiently. 

8. Are there any other vessels which have not been discovered? It is possible that 
there are other, smaller vessels in the body which have not been discovered yet. For 
example, I believe that there should be vessels in the arms, since people use their 
arms a lot. 

9. What is the actual meaning of opening a channel (commonly called opening the 
gate) in Qigong practice? What actually happens? Is it that the channel recovers its 
electrical conductivity? What is the best way to do this? 

10. Can we use modern bioelectric technologies to open the channels and increase the 
smoothness of the Qi circulation? 

11. Can we use modern bioelectric technology to fill up the Qi reservoirs? If the 
vessels are bioelectric capacitors, then we might be able to use external electrical or 
magnetic methods to refill them. We would then have enough Qi to nourish the 
whole body, and slow down the aging process significantly. 

12. What actually happens when an experienced Qigong master helps a student open 
his channels? Does the master really use his Qi (electricity) and transport it into the 
student’s body to do the job, or does the master only offer some stimulation and 
confidence to the student, and in fact, does a student open them by himself? Both 
are possible. 

13. Exactly what are cavities? Do all of the cavities have higher electric conductivity 
or do they differ in capacity? Is increased electrical conductivity the only criteria 
for locating cavities, or did the ancients have other criteria in addition to this? 



14. Why are there cavities? Is the purpose of cavities to circulate Qi to the surface of 
the skin to nourish it, and to regulate the Qi channels? Are there any other purposes 
other than these? 

15. What does acupuncture actually do to correct the Qi? We need a more complete 
explanation through modern experimentation and scientific study. 



About Mutual Qi Nourishment 


1. According to Qigong documents, two people can practice together to balance their 
Qi through mutual Qi nourishment. The person with the stronger Qi lowers his Qi 
volume while the weaker one gains Qi. Two people with weak Qi can help each 
other build up their Qi. In this kind of mutual Qi nourishment, both persons must 
be able to coordinate with each other in every aspect — especially in breathing. 
Emotionally, they must be willing to share with each other. In this kind of practice, 
must love get involved? If not, how are you able to touch and share Qi with each 
other? If the answer is “Yes,” isn’t it against the principle of meditation that the 
mind should be simple, calm, and peaceful, with no emotional disturbance? 

2. When two people practice mutual Qi nourishment, do they actually share Qi, or do 
they stimulate each other’s minds to enhance the brain’s EMF and thereby increase 
their own Qi circulation, or both? 

3. From the Qigong point of view, love is a natural way of causing mutual Qi 
nourishment. A person who loves someone can help him recover from illness. Can 
this be considered a form of Qigong? 

4. Is sexual activity the ultimate natural way of mutual Qi nourishment? Sex is a 
natural human desire. Through regular sexual activity, a person is able to obtain 
mental calmness and peace, and release the pressure generated by emotional 
disturbance. Can this be considered a form of Qigong practice? 

5. When the male ejaculates during sex, he loses Qi to the female. How does this 
happen? Is this why women live longer? If the female has reached a higher level of 
Qigong, can the male receive the Qi instead of losing it? 

6. Exactly how is Essence and Qi lost during ejaculation? In certain Qigong practices, 
men are taught how to avoid ejaculation. How is Qi transmitted under such 
circumstances? 

7. If sex is considered beneficial for Qigong practice, why did all of the Buddhist 
monks and many of the Daoists hide in the mountains and avoid sexual contact? Is 
this because they were afraid that sex and love would destroy the calm and peaceful 
mind they were cultivating? 

8. Why did the Daoists develop so many techniques which used sexual activity for Qi 
nourishment? Could these techniques have been studied by those Daoists whose 
minds could not be calm? Or did they want, on the one hand to reach 
enlightenment, and the other hand to enjoy a natural, normal human life? 

9. There are no documents that discuss exchanging Qi with animals, such as dogs and 
cats. Can a person obtain Qi from animals? Theoretically, it should be possible. It 
has been found that cats have high Qi levels, which enable them to help older men 
and women maintain their Qi level. Can ways be developed to help older people 
through this? 



About Health and Longevity 


1. Can we use external electric or magnetic stimulation to cure sicknesses in the same 
way that Qigong and acupuncture do? Perhaps the process can be duplicated by 
using external electric or magnetic stimulation to increase or reinstate the normal 
bioelectric circulation. Qigong has cured many kinds of cancer. Can the equivalent 
be achieved with modern electric and magnetic technologies? 

2. Can the immune system be strengthened through electric and magnetic stimulation 
to cure AIDS and cancer? It is believed that the immune system is related closely to 
the body’s bioenergy system. Can we increase the EMF of the brain and strengthen 
the bioenergy circulation in the body? 

3. Is it dangerous to use electricity and magnetism in acupuncture when we do not 
understand Qi science completely? So far, there is no conclusive or theoretical 
report about the use of electricity and magnetism in acupuncture, even though they 
are being widely used. Is it safe for general practice, or do we need more research? 

4. Is practicing Qigong to obtain a longer life the correct goal? I believe that if 
someone really wants to have a much longer life, he must separate himself from 
human society to avoid emotional disturbance. However, when he does this he 
loses the meaning of human life. I believe that the correct purpose of the Qigong 
practice is to obtain a healthy physical and mental body while you are still able to 
experience life. You will extend your life span somewhat because you are healthy, 
and you will still be able to experience human life. 

5. What is the meaning of life? Can Qigong help you understand it? Does a long life 
mean more to you than a happy life? If you want to have both, what should you do? 
Qigong practice has helped me understand myself, nature, and what I was, am, and 
will be. It has stopped my wondering and confusion. How about you? Are you 
expecting the same thing? 

6. Can we use modern technology to reach the same goal as marrow washing training 
and obtain a longer life without giving up our emotional feelings? I feel certain that 
once we understand exactly how marrow washing Qigong training works, we will 
be able to use modern technology to quickly reach the same goal. 



About Qi and Modern Living 


1. Can we use ice to maintain the body’s Qi balance during the summer? It was not 
possible to research this before refrigerators were invented. In the summertime, 
when the Heart is on fire, can we place a piece of ice on the center of the palm to 
cool the Heart, or will the ice quench the Heart fire too quickly and cause 
problems? How about if we use alcohol instead of ice? 

2. How does being on the night shift affect a person’s Qi circulation? In ancient times, 
few people worked at night, so there are no documents available today which 
discuss this. Since the time of day has to be taken into account when giving 
acupuncture treatments, will being on the night shift affect the treatment? 

3. How is Qi circulation affected when you travel several time zones in a short period 
of time? Does jet lag indicate that the body’s Qi is disturbed? 



About the Human Magnetic Field 


1. Theoretically, there are two magnetic poles formed in the human body by the 
Earth’s magnetic field. Do these two poles reverse when you move from the 
Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere? 

2. The Earth’s magnetic field starts at the South Magnetic Pole and goes to the North 
Magnetic Pole. Since the human’s south magnetic pole seems to be on the head if 
one is on the Northern Hemisphere, does this mean that his brain constantly 
receives energy nourishment? If the human magnetic poles are reversed in the 
Southern Hemisphere, does this mean that the brains of people there constantly lose 
nourishment? 

3. Does this explain why the most highly developed technology has been created in 
the Northern Hemisphere? 

4. If people in the Southern Hemisphere have their south magnetic poles in the 
abdomen, do they have more Lower Dan Tian energy, and does this help them live 
longer? 

5. When people are sick, can they speed their recovery by flying to the equator, where 
the effect of the Earth’s magnetic field is minimized? I believe that many human 
sicknesses are caused, or worsened, by disturbances in the body’s electromagnetic 
field. The energy of the Earth can worsen the situation, since your body has lost its 
natural balance. Can you remove this hindrance to your recovery by moving to the 
Equator? 

6. We are surrounded by energy fields, both natural and man-made. Can we insulate a 
room against them to help people convalesce? Would this also be a good place to 
meditate? 



Others 


1. Are there specific spots on the Earth where the natural energy is especially 
beneficial for Qigong? Many Qigong practitioners believe that there are places 
where Heaven or Earth Qi is able to nourish your Qi and speed up your training. Is 
this true? Would these areas be good for hospitals? 

2. What happens when we are exposed to a strong electric or magnetic field for a long 
time? How does this affect the body? Can it possibly energize our vital force and 
improve our health? 

3. Since ancient times, Qigong practitioners have claimed that there is a Qigong 
practice which can make their bodies light. Is this true? Is this beyond a modern, 
scientific explanation? 

4. Some people can hold a piece of burning charcoal in their hands, or walk bare-foot 
on a bed of glowing coals. How is this done? 

5. The Chinese people have been using jade to regulate Qi in their bodies or absorb 
excess Qi for generations. Has this ever been investigated scientifically? 

6. Can we use electrical technology to increase the Qi on the head to prevent hair loss 
or increase hair growth? 

7. Meditators talk about absorbing energy from the Earth through the feet. Is this 
different from magnetic energy? 

8. Can a highly trained Qigong practitioner predict the future, or is this simply a 
matter of judgment, combined with experience and wisdom? It is often said that 
some Qigong masters are able to read your mind and even predict your future. I 
believe that it is possible to read minds through brain wave correspondence. 
However, predicting the future requires more than this. Intelligence and wisdom 
are needed, and a lot of experience. A person’s personality is the main cause of 
success, and it can be read in his face and even in his palms. Is this how the future 
is read, or is there another way? 

9. How does the material your clothing is made of affect your health? Natural 
materials such as cotton and wool dissipate some of your energy to the surrounding 
environment. Most man-made materials generate a Qi (or electric) shield which 
does not allow your Qi to communicate with nature. This affects your body’s 
electromagnetic field and perhaps even disturbs your Qi circulation. This needs to 
be investigated. 

10. How does the weather affect our moods? Moods may be caused by the electric 
fields generated between low clouds and the ground. These strong, natural, electric 
fields will affect your body’s electromagnetic field, and may cause sickness or 
emotional disturbance. 

11. Is there a way to energize the muscles to a higher level via external electric or 
magnetic stimulation, or must we rely on traditional practices? If it is possible, 
would it be fair in competitive sports such as boxing or football? Is the way in 
which body builders use electrical stimulation of the muscles safe? 

12. Is there any danger involved in these experiments? We don’t understand the 
human body very well, and we are such delicate and complicated animals. 
Naturally, many of the experiments can be performed on other animals first. 
However, since the inner energy field is closely related to emotions, it is probable 



that most of the experiments need to be conducted directly on humans. 

13. Why do many Daoist Qigong practitioners hide themselves in caves for their 
cultivation? Is it because a cave is able to isolate the individual from external 
energy disturbances (magnetic fields or ions in the clouds)? 



CHAPTER 19 


Conclusion 

You can see that in order to maintain your health and slow down the aging process, you must keep 
your twelve Qi rivers running smoothly at the proper Qi level without stagnation. In addition, you 
must also keep the Qi reservoirs full so that they can properly regulate the Qi flow in the Qi rivers. 

Qigong was designed to focus on these two targets. It keeps Qi running smoothly in the channels 
by opening up areas which can cause the flow to stagnate. The first step is learning how to regulate 
your body into a deep, relaxed state. The next step is regulating your breathing and your mind to lead 
your mind and spirit into a deep, peaceful, and calm state. Now your organs will not be stressed by 
emotional disturbances, and can function most efficiently. Only when you have reached the stage at 
which you can regulate your body, breathing, and mind, will you be able to feel and sense the Qi 
flow in your body. Only then will you be able to regulate your Qi effectively. 

Wai Dan (external elixir) Qigong is based on this principle. It relies on limb exercises in 
coordination with mind concentration to build Qi in the limbs, and then lets this Qi flow back into 
the organs. Wai Dan Qigong is aimed at the Qi channels. 

However, in order to fill up the Qi in the vessels, another method must be used. Nei Dan Qigong 
builds up Qi in the Dan Tian, which is located in the Qi vessels. First the Conception and Governing 
Vessels are filled, and then the other six. 

These achievements did not satisfy the Qigong practitioners. In order to reach a deeper level of 
Qigong training and approach the goals of longevity and enlightenment, two more things are 
required. One of these is keeping the blood healthy. Blood cells carry nutrition and oxygen to every 
cell of your body. When the blood is healthy, it will significantly slow the aging process. Since the 
blood cells are manufactured in the bone marrow, it is essential to keep the marrow clean. 

The higher Qigong practitioners also seek spiritual independence. In order to attain this goal, the 
Qi must be led to the head to nourish the brain and spirit, making it possible for the practitioner to 
reach the stage of enlightenment or Buddhahood. 

Hundreds of Qigong styles were created based on these requirements. However, the most 
important ones are the Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic and the Marrow/Brain Washing Classic. 
The Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic was designed to change the physical body (including the 
organs) from weak to strong, and to keep the twelve Qi channels running smoothly while filling up 
the Qi in the two major vessels (Conception and Governing Vessels). When you train 
Muscle/Tendon Changing Qigong, you build the foundation of physical health. 

After you have reached an advanced stage of Muscle/Tendon Changing Qigong training, for 
example completing the Small and Grand Circulation, you should start Marrow/Brain Washing 
Qigong. Marrow/Brain Washing Qigong fills up the other six vessels, keeps the marrow clean and 
fresh, and uses the Qi to nourish the brain and spirit. When you have completed this, you will have 
reached the highest level of Qigong training. However, it is not easy to reach this stage. It usually 
requires that you separate yourself from normal human society, and perhaps live in the mountains 
like a priest or hermit. It will also require more than 30 years of accurate training. 

This volume is meant to serve as a map directing you to the Qigong treasure. It will give you the 
directions and knowledge necessary to start your trek to health and longevity. Beyond showing you 
the What and How of practice, this book is designed to explain the Why, based on my current 
understanding. It is my wish that this book stimulate the general Western public to open its collective 
mind to this new concept. Although I have tried my best, it is not surprising that many questions 
remain. The science of Qigong is so wide and deep in knowledge, and so long in history, that it is not 



possible for one individual to cover every aspect. I hope that other knowledgeable Qigong 
practitioners and researchers will also share their experience and understanding with the general 
public. 

Although I believe that this book has not covered all aspects of the discussion, I do have 
confidence that it has given you the key to opening the gate to the mystery. With this book as a 
directory, you should come to understand the general concepts of Chinese Qigong. Once you 
understand this book, you should start walking. Without walking, the target will never be reached. It 
is a long and challenging job. You will need a lot of enthusiasm, patience, and strong will to 
accomplish it. The process will help you to understand yourself and nature much better and more 
clearly and, therefore, help you live your life in a more meaningful way. 

Although this book has discussed the general theory and categories of Qigong, it has not discussed 
any style specifically. Therefore, YMAA plans to publish another seven books to discuss the details 
of training in different styles. These books will be: 

1. Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Kung — The Secret of 
Youth (Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing)(Published by YMAA, 1989) 

2. Chinese Qigong Massage — General Massage (Qigong An Mo)(Published by 
YMAA, 1992) Chinese Healing Massage (Tui Na, Dian Xue, and Qi An Mo) (In 
Progress) 

3. Qigong and Health (In Progress) 

4. Qigong and the Martial Arts — The Key to Advanced Martial Arts Skill (New 
Title: The Essence of Shaolin White Crane, by YMAA, 1996) 

5. Buddhist Qigong (In Progress) 

6. Daoist Qigong (Dan Ding Dao Gong) (In Progress) 

7. Tibetan Qigong (Mi Zong Shen Gong) (In Progress) 

On your way to study and research, I would like to remind you that your thoughts should not be 
restricted and limited by traditional culture and conventional, conservative morality. Accepting a 
new culture is not a betrayal of tradition. Daring to remove the masks that everyone has put on since 
they started to be affected by tradition and the world of conventional reality is not shameful but 
brave. During this new era in which human beings have enjoyed incredible material progress in a 
mere 100 years, you must dare to face and accept different cultures. Tradition must be examined. In 
this new era, different cultures have a chance to interact with each other. It is the responsibility of 
our generation to create and refine this new mixed culture and pass it to the next generation. This is a 
difficult challenge for all of us. However, you must understand that the future is in our hands, and we 
must accept the challenge, becoming the pioneers of this era. 

In order to accomplish this job, I would like to give you a few things to keep in mind in the course 
of your study and research. These are: 

1. Avoid Prejudice. All culture and tradition which has survived must have its 
benefits. Perhaps some of them do not fit in our world; however, they deserve our 
respect. Remember, if you get rid of your past, you have pulled out your root. 
Naturally, you should not be stubborn and claim that the traditional culture is 
absolutely right, or claim that an alien culture must be better than the traditional 
culture. What you should do is keep the good of the traditional and absorb the best 
of the alien. 

2. Be Objective in Your Judgment. You should consider every new statement you 
read from both sides so that you can analyze it objectively. When you evaluate, 
emotional opinions should be considered, but they should not dominate your 
judgment. 



3. Be Scientific. Although there are many occurrences which still cannot be explained 
by modern science, you should always remember to judge scientifically. New 
sciences will be developed. Phenomena that could not be tested in ancient times 
should be examined with modern equipment. 

4. Be Logical and Make Sense. When you read or study, in your mind you should 
always ask “Is it logical and does it make sense?” When you keep these questions 
in mind, you will think and understand instead of believe blindly. 

5. Do not Ignore Prior Experience. Prior experience that has been passed down is the 
root of research. You should always be sincere and respectful when you study the 
past. From the past, you will come to understand the present. By understanding the 
present, you will be able to create the future. The accumulation of experience is the 
best teacher. You should respect the past, be cautious about the present, and 
challenge the future. 

China has more than 7000 thousand years of culture. There have been many brilliant 
accomplishments, and Qigong is only one of them. There has never been such open communication 
between different cultures as we have today. It is our responsibility to encourage the general public 
to accept, study, and research other cultures. In this way, the human race will be able to adopt the 
good parts of each culture and live in a more peaceful and meaningful way. 

Chinese Qigong is part of traditional Chinese medical science. It has brought the Chinese 
thousands of years of calm, peaceful, and happy lives. I believe that this brilliant element of Chinese 
culture will help Westerners, especially in the spiritual part of training. Further publications must be 
encouraged. Wide scale scholastic and scientific study, research, and tests must be conducted, 
especially by universities and medical organizations. In this way, we will be able to introduce this 
new culture to the Western world in a short time. 

I predict that the study of Chinese medical science and internal, meditative Qigong will attain 
great results in the next decade. I invite you to join me and become a pioneer in this new field in the 
Western world. 



APPENDIX 


Translation and Glossary of Chinese Terms 


Ai f-Sorrow. 

Ai CLove, kindness. 

An Mo & ^Literally, “Press Rub.” Together they mean massage. 

An Tian Le Ming ■'& ££^Means “Peace with heaven and delight in your destiny.” 

An Yang, Henan province The location of an old Chinese capital during the Shang 

dynasty, 1766-1154 B.C. It has become an important site for archeological study. 

Ba Chu AfliEight Touches. The physical and sensory phenomena in Qigong practice. 

Ba Duan Jin A^^Eight Pieces of Brocade. A Wai Dan Qigong practice said to have been created by 
Marshal Yue Fei during the Southern Song dynasty, 1 127-1279 A.D. 

Ba Kua (Bagua) AULiterally “Eight Divinations.” Also called the Eight Trigrams. In Chinese 
philosophy, the eight basic variations; shown in the Yi Jing as groups of single and broken lines. 

Ba Kua Chang (Baguazhang) A $Eight Trigrams Palm. One of the internal Qigong martial styles, 
believed to have been created by Dong, Hai-Chuan between 1866 and 1880 A.D. 

Ba Mai a ^.Referred to as the eight extraordinary vessels. These eight vessels are considered to be Qi 
reservoirs, which regulate the Qi status in the primary Qi channels. 

Bao Pu Zi ffe^h ^KThe name of a well-known Qigong and Chinese medical book written by Ge Hong 
during the Jin dynasty in the 3rd century A.D. 

Bao Shen Mi Yao Qigong and medical book describing moving and stationary Qigong 

practices. It was written by Cao, Yuan-Bai during the Qing dynasty, 1644-191 1 A.D. 

Bagua (Ba Kua) a ^Literally, “Eight Divinations.” Also called the Eight Trigrams. In Chinese 
philosophy, the eight basic variations; shown in the Yi Jing as groups of single and broken lines. 

Bai He 6 #?Means “White Crane.” One of the southern martial arts styles of China. 

Baihui (Gv-20) ^Literally, “Hundred Meetings.” An important acupuncture cavity located on the 
top of the head. The Baihui cavity belongs to the Governing Vessel. 

Bi Xi ■# &Means “Nose Breathing.” 

Bian Que h well-known physician who wrote the book, Nan Jing (Classic on Disorders) during 
the Chinese Qin and Han dynasties, 221 B.C. -220 A.D. 



Bian Shi -FThe stone probes used to press acupuncture cavities for healing before metal needles 
were available. 


Cai Xiao Yao 44-F ^Picked up the little herb. Terminology used in Daoist Qigong practice. 

Cao, Yuan-Bai § x, £rA well-known physician and Qigong master who wrote a book called Bao Shen 
Mi Yao (The Secret Important Document of Body Protection) during the Qing dynasty, 1644- 1911 
A.D. The book describes moving and stationary Qigong practices. 

Chan (Ren) # > &A Chinese school of Mahayana Buddhism which asserts that enlightenment can be 
attained through meditation, self-contemplation and intuition, rather than through study of scripture. 
Chan is called Zen in Japan. 

Chan Zong Liu Zu i*^7^“Six Ancestors of Chan” who include Da Mo, Hui Ke, Seng Can, Dao 
Xin, Hong Ren, and Hui Neng. 

Chan Zong Qi Zu # t- -b ^“Seven Ancestors of Chan” who include Da Mo, Hui Ke, Seng Can, Dao 
Xin, Hong Ren, Hui Neng, and Shen Hui. 

Chan Zong # sTThe Chan school. 

Chang A Long. 

Chang Chuan (Changquan) &#-Means “Long Range Fist.” Chang Chuan includes all northern 
Chinese long range martial styles. Chang Chuan has also been used to refer to Taijiquan. 

Chang, San-Feng £Chang, San-Feng is credited as the creator of Taijiquan during the Song 
dynasty in China (960-1 127 A.D.). 

Chang, Xiang-San S& if £-A well-known Chinese martial artist in Taiwan. 

Changquan (Chang Chuan) £ ^Means “Long Range Fist.” Changquan includes all northern Chinese 
long range martial styles. Changquan has also been used to refer to Taijiquan. 

Chao, Yuan-Fang I^L^A well-known physician and Qigong master who lived during the Sui and 
Tang dynasties, 581-907 A.D. Chao, Yuan-Fang compiled the Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun (Thesis on 
the Origins and Symptoms of Various Diseases), which is a veritable encyclopedia of Qigong 
methods, listing 260 different ways of increasing the Qi flow. 

Chen afcSink. 

Chen, Ji-Ru #SHfiA well-known physician and Qigong master who wrote the book Yang Shen Fu 
Yu (Brief Introduction to Nourishing the Body) during the Qing dynasty, 1644-1911 A.D. The book 
is about the three treasures: Jing (essence), Qi (internal energy), and Shen (spirit). 


Cheng, Gin-Gsao t & *iDr. Yang, Jwing-Ming’s White Crane master. 



Chi (Qi) &The energy pervading the universe, including the energy circulating in the human body. 

Chi Kung (Qigong) & ^Literally the “Gongfu of Qi,” which means the study of Qi. 

Chin Na (Qin Na) Si ^Literally “Grab Control.” A component of Chinese martial arts that 
emphasizes grabbing techniques to control your opponent’s joints, in conjunction with attacking 
certain acupuncture cavities. 

Chong Mai flfJ&Thrusting Vessel. One of the eight extraordinary Qi vessels. 

Chu Gan fit ^Literally, “Touch Feel.” Chu Gan refers to the unusual feelings or phenomena 
experienced during Qigong practice. 

Confucius Chinese scholar of the period 551-479 B.C., whose philosophy has significantly 
influenced Chinese culture. 

Cong Nei Zhu Ji ^ &J&Means to build the foundation of health and longevity internally. That 
means to regulate the breathing, mind, and Qi internally. 

Cong Wai Jian Gong ^;Means to build the physical strength externally. 

Da Mo it l&The Indian Buddhist monk credited with creating the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing while at 
the Shaolin monastery. His last name was Sardili and he was also known as Bodhidarma. He was 
once the prince of a small tribe in southern India. 

Da Shou Yin A-f- fpLarge hand stamp. A common Tibetan meditation technique in which some of the 
meditator’s fingers press against each other. 

Da Zhou Tian k J3 ^Literally, “Grand Cycle Heaven.” Usually translated as “Grand Circulation.” 
After a Nei Dan Qigong practitioner completes Small Circulation, he will circulate his Qi through 
the entire body or exchange the Qi with nature. 

Dai Mai ^J&Girdle (or Belt) Vessel. One of the eight Qi vessels. 

Dan Ding Dao Gong ft life iC^The elixir cauldron way of Qigong. The Daoists’ Qigong training. 

Dan Tian ft ^Literally, “Field of Elixir.” Locations in the body which are able to store and generate 
Qi (elixir) in the body. The Upper, Middle, and Lower Dan Tian are located, respectively, between 
the eyebrows, at the solar plexus, and a few inches below the navel. 

Dan Tian Qi ft w ^Usually, the Qi that is converted from Original Essence and is stored in the Lower 
Dan Tian. This Qi is considered “water Qi” and is able to calm the body. Also called Xian Tian Qi 
(Pre-Heaven Qi). 

Dao i£The “Way;” by implication the “Natural way.” 


Dao De Jing ^Morality Classic. Written by Lao Zi. 



Dao Jia & f-The Dao family. Daoism. Created by Lao Zi during the Zhou dynasty, 1 122-934 B.C. In 
the Han dynasty (c. 58 A.D.), it was mixed with the Buddhism to become the Daoist religion (Dao 
Jiao). 

Dao Jiao Daoist religion created by Zhang, Dao-Ling who combined the traditional Daoist 
principles with Buddhism during the Chinese Han dynasty. 

Dao Wai Cai Yao it^h^&Means “Herb picking outside of the Dao.” A special Daoist Qigong 
training method. 

Dao Xin i£i£One of the six ancestors of Chan. 

Di &The Earth. Earth, Heaven (Tian) and Man (Ren) are the “Three Natural Powers” (San Cai). 

Di Li Shi SfDi Li means “Geomancy” and Shi means “Teacher.” Therefore Di Li Shi is a teacher 
or master who analyzes geographic locations according to the formulas in the Yi Jing (Book of 
Change) and the energy distributions in the earth. Also called Feng Shui Shi. 

Di Qi & fc.The Qi or the energy of the earth. 

Dian Mai (Dim Mak) KJlfcMai means “The blood vessel” (Xue Mai) or “The Qi channel” (Qi Mai). 
Dian Mai means “To press the blood vessel or Qi channel.” 

Dian Qi f'&Dian means “electricity” and so Dian Qi means “electrical energy” (electricity). In 
China, a word is often placed before “Qi” to identify the different kinds of energy. 

Dian Xue 7 * TkDian means “To point and exert pressure” and Xue means “The cavities.” Dian Xue 
refers to those Qin Na techniques which specialize in attacking acupuncture cavities to immobilize or 
kill an opponent. 

Dian Xue massages ISi^-ht^One of the Chinese massage techniques in which the acupuncture 
cavities are stimulated through pressing. Dian Xue massage is also called acupressure and is the root 
of Japanese Shiatsu. 

Diao ifrShake. 

Dim Mak (Dian Mai) IS ^Cantonese of “Dian Mai.” 

Ding £To stabilize or to firm. 

Ding Shen JtftTo stabilize the spirit. To keep the spirit at one place (usually the Shang Dan Tian 
located at the third eye). One of the exercises for regulating the Shen (spirit) in Qigong. 

Dong ^Moving. 


Dong ^Understanding. 



Dong Chu i/> ^Literally, “Moving touch.” Refers to the unusual, automatic movements or feelings 
sometimes experienced during Qigong practice. Also called Chu Gan. 


Dong Mian Fa 4- ^Hibernation technique. A Qigong technique that trains the hibernation 
breathing. 

Dong, Hai-Chuan S ^*IA well-known Chinese internal martial artist who is credited as the creator of 
Baguazhang in the late Qing dynasty, 1644-1911 A.D. 

Du Mai 'If ^Usually translated “Governing Vessel.” One of the eight extraordinary vessels. 

Eastern Han dynasty k &A Chinese dynasty from 25-168 A.D. 

Emei ■WName of a mountain in Sichuan Province, China. 

Emei Da Peng Gong wDa Peng is a kind of large bird that existed in ancient China. Da Peng 

Gong is a style of Qigong that imitates the movements of this bird. This style was developed at Emei 
mountain in China. 

Fan ^Return. Means to return your breathing to its natural way. 

Fan Fu Hu Xi A. & ^ ^Reverse abdominal breathing. One of the Qigong breathing methods. Also 
called Fan Hu Xi (reverse breathing) or Daoist breathing. 

Fan Hu Xi ^Reverse breathing. Also commonly called “Daoist Breathing.” 

Fan Jing Bu Nao i&ikM ^Daoist Qigong terminology that means “To return the Jing to nourish the 
brain.” 


Fan Tong Hu Xi i'i ■? ?&Back to childhood breathing. A breathing training technique in Nei Dan 
Qigong through which the practitioner tries to regain control of the muscles in the lower abdomen. 
Also called “abdominal breathing.” 

Fan Xi .fe-Return breathing. Means to return your breathing to its natural way. 

Fen Sui Xu Kong f^^^Crush the Emptiness. The final stage of Daoist Qigong enlightenment 
training. 

Feng Lu H&Wind Path. One of the internal Qi circulation paths. 

Feng Shui Shi M, jjt CfLiterally, “Wind water teacher.” Teacher or master of geomancy. Geomancy is 
the art or science of analyzing the natural energy relationships in a location, especially the 
interrelationships between “wind” and “water,” hence the name. Also called Di Li Shi. 

Fengchi (GB-20) J&i&Wind Pond. An acupuncture cavity belonging to the Gall Bladder Qi channel. 

Fo Jia (Fo Jiao) <#&)Literally, “Buddhism family.” Jiao means religion. Therefore, the 



Buddhist Religion. 

Fu $rThe Bowels. The Yang organs: the Gall Bladder, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Stomach, 
Bladder, and Triple Burner. 

Fu ifFIoat. 

Fu Qi Fa ■{< It j&Yield Qi methods. Techniques used to calm and tame the Qi. 

Fu Shi Hu Xi A'? ^Literally, “Abdominal way of breathing.” As you breathe, you use the muscles 
in the lower abdominal area to control the diaphragm. It is also called “Back to (the) childhood 
breathing.” 

Fu Xi # 4’Skin Breathing. A Qigong breathing technique in which the Qi is led to the surface of the 
skin. 


Gan Jue & ^Literally, “To touch and feel.” In the second stage of relaxation, you are able to 
physically feel what is going on inside your body This occurs before the sensing stage. 

Ge Hong § :£A famous physician and Qigong master who wrote the book Bao Pu Zi during the Jin 
dynasty in the 3rd century A.D. 

Ge Zhi Yu Lun teitikifcThe Chinese name of the book A Further Thesis of Complete Study, a 
medical and Qigong thesis written by Zhu, Dan-Xi during the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties, 960- 
1368 A.D. 

Gong Shou fa -f Arcing arms or hands. A stationary Taiji Qigong training. 

Gongfu (Kung Fu) # AMeans “Energy-Time.” Anything that takes time and energy to learn or 
accomplish is called Gongfu. 

Gu Jing t*l ttTo solidify the Essence. A Qigong exercise for keeping and firming the Essence. 

Gu Shen ®#Means “To firm and solidify.” An exercise for regulating the Shen in which you firm 
and strengthen the spirit at its residence. 

Gu Shen 0 ffMeans “To firm and solidify.” A method to strengthen the kidneys; therefore, to prevent 
the loss of the Original Essence. 

Gu Sui It fclBone Marrow. 

Guan StLook. Implies to feel and to sense. 

Guan Qi It A.Guan means “To thread together.” Guan Qi is a Qigong training method in which a 
practitioner leads Qi from one place to another. 


Guan Xi &&Guan means “To look.” “Look” here means to feel and to sense. Xi is the breathing. 



Therefore, Guan Xi means “To feel and to sense the breathing.” 

Guan Xiang Fa $,&&The Behold and Think Method. A Buddhist technique used to regulate the 
mind. 

Guan Xin &L '-Means to inspect or look at the behavior of Xin (the emotional mind). 

Gui .fcGhost. When you die, if your spirit is strong, your soul’s energy will not decompose and return 
to nature. This soul energy is a ghost. 

Gui Qi &&The Qi residue of a dead person. It is believed by the Chinese Buddhists and Daoists that 
this Qi residue is a so-called ghost. 

Gui Xi &&Turtle breathing. In Chinese Qigong society, it is believed that a turtle is able to live for a 
long time because it knows how to breath through its skin. Therefore, skin breathing in Qigong is 
called turtle breathing. 

Guoshu & ^Abbreviation of “Zhongguo Wushu,” which means “Chinese Martial Techniques.” 

Ha Qigong sound commonly used to lead an over-abundance of Qi from inside the body out and 
therefore reduce over-accumulated Qi. 

Han dynasty 31 ^A dynasty from Chinese history, 206 B.C.-221 A.D. 

Han, Ching-Tang £A well-known Chinese martial artist, especially in Taiwan in the last forty 
years. Master Han is also Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming’s Long Fist Grand Master. 

He ^Harmony or peace. 

Hen IftHate. 

Hen "&A Yin Qigong sound that is the opposite of the Ha Yang sound. 

Hong Ren ft .&One of the six ancestors of Chan. 

Hou Tian Qi $ £ ^Post-Birth Qi. This Qi is converted from the Essence of food and air and is 
classified as “Fire Qi” because it can make your body too Yang. 

Hsing Yi Chuan (Xingyiquan) % £ -^-Literally, “Shape-Mind Fist.” An internal style of Gongfu in 
which the mind or thinking determines the shape or movement of the body. Creation of the style is 
attributed to Marshal Yue Fei. 

Hu Bu Gong tfe# WTiger Step Gong. A style of Qigong training. 

Hua ^Slippery. 


Hua Tuo * PSA well-known Chinese physician who lived during the Jin dynasty in the 3rd century 
A.D. 



Huan Jing Bu Nao nJHfrfl ^Literally, “To return the Essence to nourish the brain.” A Daoist Qigong 
training process in which Qi that is converted from Essence is led to the brain to nourish it. 

Huan tSLSlow. 

Huang Di -ft ftThe Yellow Emperor (2690-2590 B.C.). 

Huang Ting ft A Yellow yard. 1. A yard or hall in which Daoists, who often wore yellow robes, 
meditate together. 2. In Qigong training, a spot in the abdomen where it is believed that you are able 
to generate an “embryo.” 

Hui Ke £ *TOne of the six ancestors of Chan Buddhism. 

Hui Neng £ StOne of the six ancestors of Chan Buddhism. 

Huiyin (Co-1) £ fit An acupuncture cavity belonging to the Conception Vessel. 

Hun i&The soul. Commonly used with the word Ling, which means “Spirit.” Daoists believe that a 
human being’s Hun and Po originate with his Original Qi (Yuan Qi), and separate from the physical 
body at death. 

Huo Long Gong LtesfrFire Dragon Gong. A style of Qigong training created by Taiyang martial 
stylists. 

Huo Lu A35Fire Path. One of the paths in Small Circulation meditation. 

Huo Qi ;k&Fire Qi. Qi which tends to make the body positive, or Yang. 

Huo Qi &Huo means “Alive.” Huo Qi is the Qi of a living person or animal. 

Ji Guang # £Hui Ke’s layman name. Hui Ke is one of the six ancestors of Chan Buddhism. 

Jia Gu Wen T -S' siOracle-Bone Scripture. It is the earliest evidence of the Chinese use of the written 
word. Found on pieces of turtle shell and animal bone from the Shang dynasty, 1766- 1154 B.C. 
Most of the information recorded was of a religious nature. 

Jia Guan lK#.The False Look. A technique to regulate the mind in Buddhist meditation. 

Jian £Hard and strong. 

Jian Xing Liao Ran *L'li 7 AMeans “To see Nature and understand what it really is.” 

Jiao Hua Gong It ^Beggar Gong. A style of Qigong training. 

Jin ^The martial power in Chinese martial arts that derives from muscles that have been energized 
by Qi to their maximum potential. 



Jin Dan Da Dao £ A. iSGolden Elixir Large Way. A special Daoist Nei Dan Qigong training. 

Jin dynasty UA Chinese dynasty of the 3rd century A.D. 

Jin Kui Yao Lue £t-£*&The name of a Chinese book, Prescriptions from the Golden Chamber, that 
discusses the use of breathing and acupuncture to maintain good Qi flow. This book was written by 
Zhang, Zhong-Jing during the Qin and Han dynasties, 221 B.C.-220 A.D. 

Jin Zhong Zhao £ ^-Literally, “Golden bell cover.” A higher level of Iron Shirt training. 

Jin, Shao-Feng & & >: bDr. Yang, Jwing-Ming’s White Crane grand master. 

Jing Clean. Means “regulated.” In this book, Jing means to use natural breathing to regulate your 
thoughts. 

Jing ^Essence. The most refined part of anything. 

Jing Calm and silent. 

Jing ^.Channels. Sometimes translated as “Meridians.” Refers to the twelve organ-related “rivers” 
that circulate Qi throughout the body. 

Jing Lian ^fr&Means “To refine or purify a liquid to a high quality.” 

Jing Liang dMeans “Excellent Quality” (literally “Pure and good”). 

Jing Ming it ‘MMeans “Keen and Clever.” 

Jing Qi $ &Means “Qi Scenery” or “Qi View.” 

Jing Qi ^Essence Qi. The Qi that has been converted from Original Essence. 

Jing Shen ’ti d'Lite rally “Essence Shen,” which is commonly translated as “Spirit of Vitality.” 

Jing Xi # AClean. Means “regulated.” Xi means “breathing.” Therefore Jing Xi means to use natural 
breathing to regulate your thoughts. 

Jing Xi ik MVIeans “Delicate and painstaking” (literally, “pure and fine”). 

Jing Zi # ^Literally, “Essence Son.” The most refined part of human essence. The sperm. 

Jingmen J"Essence Doors. They are located on the back of the body. 

Ju Jing Hui Shen ^“Gathering your Jing to meet your Shen.” That means “concentration.” 


Jueyin IS; ^Absolute Yin. Terminology used in acupuncture. 



Jun Qian KA Daoist and Chinese doctor who lived during the Jin dynasty, 265-420 A.D. Jun Qing 
is credited as the creator of the Five Animal Sports Qigong practice. 

Kan JfcOne of the Eight Trigrams. 

Kao Tao $Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming’s first Taijiquan master. 

Kong Guan £ ftThe Empty Look. One of the methods of regulating the mind in Qigong meditation. 


Kong Qi £ feAir. 

Kung (Gong) ^Means “Energy” or “Hard Work.” 

Kung Fu (Gongfu) d) ^Literally, “Energy-Time.” Any study, learning, or practice that requires 
patience, energy, and time to complete. Since practicing Chinese martial arts requires a great deal of 
time and energy, Chinese martial arts are commonly called Gongfu. 

Kuoshu (Guoshu) S ^Literally, “National Techniques.” Another name for Chinese martial arts. First 
used by President Chiang, Kai-Shek in 1926 at the founding of the Nanking Central Guoshu 
Institute. 


La Ma ^tffA Tibetan monk. Also used for Tibetan White Crane style. 

Lan Shi Mi Cang 35 ± ^Secret Library of the Orchid Room. The name of a Chinese medical and 
Qigong book written by Li Guo during the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties, 960-1368 A.D. 

Lao Zi £ -f-The creator of Daoism, also called Li Er. 

Laogong (P-8) # ITCavity name. On the Pericardium Channel in the center of the palm. 

Le &Joy or happiness. 

Leng *tCold. 

Li &A phase of the Bagua (Eight Trigrams). Li represents fire. 

Li Er -f 4-Nickname of Lao Zi, the creator of scholarly Daoism. 

Li Guo 4= J)tA well-known Chinese physician and Qigong master who wrote a book, Lan Shi Mi Cang 
(Secret Library of the Orchid Room ) during the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties, 960-1368 A.D. 

Li, Mao-Ching # ifrDr. Yang, Jwing-Ming’s Long Fist master. 

Li, Shi-Zhen (1518-1593 A.D.)#8$*#A well-known Chinese physician and Qigong master who 
wrote a book about the eight Qi vessels, Qi Jing Ba Mai Kao (Deep Study of the Extraordinary Eight 
Vessels) in the 16th century. 


Lian Jing Hua Qi *MM£&To refine the Essence and convert it into Qi. One of the Qigong training 



processes through which you convert Essence into Qi. 


Lian Qi *fc&Lian means “To train, to strengthen and to refine.” A Daoist training process through 
which your Qi grows stronger and more abundant. 

Lian Qi Hua Shen sMUt*+To refine the Qi to nourish the spirit. Part of the Qigong training process 
in which you learn how to lead Qi to the head to nourish the brain and Shen (spirit). 

Lian Shen *L?tTo train the spirit. To refine and strengthen the Shen and make it more focused. 

Lian Shen Fan Xu *M+*l$To refine the Shen into emptiness. Part of the Daoist Qigong training 
process in which you learn how to lead your Shen (spirit) into the emptiness (i.e. free from emotional 
bondage). 

Lian Shen Liao Xing 7 ETo refine the spirit and end human nature. This is the final stage of 
spiritual Qigong training for enlightenment. In this process you learn to keep your emotions neutral 
and try to be undisturbed by human nature. 

Liang SfCool. 

Liang dynasty £A dynasty in Chinese history, 502-557 A.D 

Ling 4The spirit of being, which acts upon others. Ling only exists in high spiritual animals such as 
humans and monkeys. It represents an emotional comprehension and understanding. When you are 
alive, it implies your intelligence and wisdom. When you die, it implies the spirit of the ghost. Ling 
also means “divine” or “supernatural.” Ling is often used together with Shen (Ling Shen) to mean 
“supernatural spirit.” It is believed that Qi is the source that nourishes the Ling and is called “Ling 
Qi, “meaning “supernatural energy, power, or force.” 

Ling Bao Bi Fa 4 # W ^Spiritual Treasure to Reach the End Method. A Tibetan Qigong training 
technique. 

Ling Gui SE ^Spiritual ghost. 

Ling Hun 4 ^.Spiritual soul. 

Ling Shen 4 ^Supernatural or divine spirit. 

Ling Shu 4 i£A well-known Chinese physician who wrote a medical book called: Huang Di Nei Jing 
Su Wen (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic) during the Han dynasty, circa 100-300 B.C. 

Ling Zhi 5t £Ling Zhi (Fomes Japonica) is a hard, dark brownish fungus which is supposed to 
possess supernatural powers. In Qigong society, sometimes Ling Zhi means the elixir that enables 
you to have a long life. 

Liu He Ba Fa * Mdterally, “Six combinations eight methods.” One of the internal martial arts of 
China, its techniques are combined from Taijiquan, Xingyi and Baguazhang. This internal martial art 
was reportedly created by Chen Bo during the Song dynasty, 960-1279 A.D. 



Liu Jing * frSix Qigong Verifications. These are: A. Dan Tian is hot as if it were on fire; B. The 
(internal) kidneys feel like they are boiling in water; C. The eyes are emitting a beam of light; D. 
Winds are being generated behind the ears; E. An eagle is shouting behind your head; F. Your body 
is energized and your nose trembles. 

Luo &The small Qi channels that branch out from the primary Qi channels and are connected to the 
skin and to the bone marrow. 


Ma Bu ft fHorse Stance. One of the basic stances in Chinese martial arts. 

Mai .i&Means “Vessel” or “Qi channel.” 

Mencius & ^(372-289 B.C.) A well-known scholar who followed the philosophy of Confucius 
during the Chinese Zhou dynasty, 909-255 B.C. 

Mi Zang Shen Gong & *1# ^Literally, “Secret Style of Spiritual Gongfu.” This means Tibetan 
Qigong and martial arts, originally passed down secretly. 

Mi Zong IS ^Secret Style. Tibetan Qigong is commonly called Mi Zong simply because it is not 
known by outsiders. 

Mian flsSoft. 

Ming ^"Physical life. 

Ming dynasty VI JVk Chinese dynasty from 1368 to 1644 A.D. 

Ming Tian Gu AftTo beat the heavenly drum. A Qigong practice for waking up and clearing the 
mind in which the back of the head is tapped with the fingers. 

Mingmen (Gv-4) ^HNarne of an acupuncture cavity belonging to the Governing Vessel. 

Nan Hua Jing A ^&A book written by the Daoist philosopher Zhuang Zi circa 300 B.C. This book 
describes the relationship between health and the breath. 

Nan Jing & ^Classic on Disorders. A medical book written by the famous physician Bian Que during 
the Qin and Han dynasties, 221 B.C. -220 A.D. Nan Jing describes the methods of using breathing to 
increase Qi circulation. 

Nao Sui flsfSS Brain. 

Nei Dan f*l ^Literally, “Internal elixir.” A form of Qigong in which Qi (the elixir) is built up in the 
body and led out to the limbs. 


Nei Gong ft ^Literally, “Internal Gongfu.” Chinese martial arts that start with internal training and 
the cultivation of Qi. 



Nei Gong Tu Shuo H s h S ^Illustrated Explanation of Nei Gong. The name of the Qigong book 
written by Wang, Zu-Yuan during the Qing dynasty. This book presents the Twelve Pieces of 
Brocade and explains the idea of combining both moving and stationary Qigong. 

Nei Jing dinner Classic. A Chinese medical book written during the reign of the Yellow emperor, 
2690-2590 B.C. 

Nei Shen p*s ^Literally, “Internal Kidneys.” In Chinese medicine and Qigong, the real Kidneys; Wai 
Shen (external Kidneys) refers to the testicles. 

Nei Shi Fan Ting f*l *$,i£S£Means “To see internally and to listen inwardly.” 

Nei Shi Gongfu f*3 # AJSTei Shi means “To look internally,” so Nei Shi Gongfu refers to the art of 
looking inside yourself to read the state of your health and the condition of your Qi. 

Nian ^Thoughts that stay with you and do not go away. 

Ning Shen £t*+To condense or focus on the spirit. In Qigong training, after you are able to keep your 
spirit in one place, you learn how to condense it into a tiny spot and make it stronger. 

Nu &Anger. 

Nuan War m. 

Ping FPeace and harmony. 

Po ^Vigorous life force. The Po is considered to be the inferior or animal soul. It is the animal or 
sentient life that is an innate part of the body which, at death, returns to the earth with the rest of the 
body. When someone is in high spirits and gets vigorously involved in some activity it is said he has 
Po Li, which means he has “vigorous strength or power.” 

Qi &The general definition of Qi is: universal energy, including heat, light, and electromagnetic 
energy. A narrower definition of Qi refers to the energy circulating in human or animal bodies. A 
current popular model is that the Qi circulating in the human body is bioelectric in nature. 


Qi Hua Lun iUts^Qi variation thesis. An ancient treatise that discusses the variations of Qi in the 
universe. 


Qi Huo feJcTo start the fire. In Qigong practice, when you start to build up Qi at the Lower Dan 
Tian. 


Qi Jing Ba Mai ^^^^-Literally, “Strange (odd) channels eight vessels.” Usually referred to as the 
eight extraordinary vessels or simply as the vessels. Called odd or strange because they are not well 
understood and some of them do not exist in pairs. 



Qi Jing Ba Mai Kao #Deep Study of the Extraordinary Eight Vessels. A book written by Li, 

Shi-Zhen. 

Qi Mai i.#Qi vessels. The eight vessels involved with transporting, storing, and regulating Qi. 

Qi Qing Liu Yu -t if ^ ^Seven emotions and six desires. The seven emotions are happiness, anger, 
sorrow, joy, love, hate and desire. The six desires are the six sensory pleasures associated with the 
eyes, nose, ears, tongue, body and mind. 

Qi Shi &#Shi means the way something looks or feels. Therefore, the feeling of Qi as it expresses 
itself. 

Qi Xi & SfQi breathing. 

Qi-Xue &iiLiterally, “Qi blood.” According to Chinese medicine, Qi and blood cannot be separated 
in our bodies and so the two words are commonly used together. 

Qian Jin Fang ^Thousand Gold Prescriptions. A medical book written by the well know 
physician Sun, Si-Mao during the Sui and Tang dynasties, 581-907 A.D. This book describes the 
method of leading Qi, and also describes the use of the Six Sounds. 

Qiang Shen Jfc ^Strengthen the kidneys. 

Qigong (Chi Kung) &t7Gong means Gongfu (literally “Energy-time.”) Therefore, Qigong means 
study, research, and/or practices related to Qi. 

Qigong An Mo ^wte^Qigong massage. 

Qihai (Co-6) &£An acupuncture cavity belonging to the Conception Vessel. 

Qin dynasty ^43A Chinese dynasty from 255-206 B.C. 

Qin Na (Chin Na) Ms ^Literally “Grab control.” A component of Chinese martial arts that emphasizes 
grabbing techniques to control your opponent’s joints, in conjunction with attacking certain 
acupuncture cavities. 

Qin Yuan Zhuo Ma ^jTo seize the ape and catch the horse. A common name for the practice of 
regulating the mind in Chinese Qigong society. The ape represents the emotional mind and the horse 
represents the calm wisdom mind. In regulating the mind training, you must be able to control your 
emotional mind and make your wisdom mind steady. 

Qing feLight, as in weight. 

Qing dynasty jfr iffThe last of China’s dynasties, from 1644-1912 A.D. 


Qing Xiu Pai ill ^-Peaceful Cultivation Division. A division of Daoist Qigong training that is 
similar to Buddhism. 



Re &Hot. 


Re Qi &&Means “warmth” or “heat.” Generally, Re Qi is used to represent heat. It implies that a 
person or animal is still alive because the body is warm. 

Ren AMan or mankind. 

Ren ^Humanity, kindness or benevolence. 

Ren Mai ft ^Conception Vessel. One of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels. 

Ren Qi A. &Human Qi. 

Ren Shi a. ^Literally, “Human relations.” Human events, activities and relationships. 

Ru Jia ^Literally, “Confucian family.” Scholars following Confucian thoughts; Confucianists. 

Ru Men Shi Shi ^ lilt^.A book written by Zhang, Zi-He during the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties, 
960-1368 A.D. 

Ruan fcSoft. 

San Bao - flfThree treasures. Essence (Jing), energy (Qi) and spirit (Shen). Also called San Yuan 
(three origins). 

San Ben ^-4- The Three Foundations. 

San Cai ^+Three Powers. The Three Powers are Heaven, Earth, and Man. 

San Gong & ^Literally, “Energy dispersion.” A state of premature degeneration of the muscles 
where the Qi cannot effectively energize them. It can be caused by over-training. 

San Guang ^.dhree lights. In Chinese Qigong it is said that the Liver has the Hun (soul) light, 
which shows in the eyes; the Lungs have Po (vigorous life force) light, which shows in the nose; and 
the Kidneys have the Jing (Essence) light, which show in the ears. 

San Hua Ju Ding UfThree flowers reach the top. One of the final goals of Qigong whereby the 
three treasures (Essence, Qi, and Shen) are led to the top of the body to nourish the brain and spirit 
center (Upper Dan Tian). 

San Yuan A AThree origins. Also called “San Bao” (Three treasures). Human Essence (Jing), energy 
(Qi) and spirit (Shen). 

Sanjiao -=■ ^Triple burner. In Chinese medicine, the body is divided into three sections: the upper 
burner (chest), the middle burner (stomach area), and the lower burner (lower abdomen). 


Se sfflHarsh. 



Seng Can ■ftf t&One of the six Chan ancestors. 

Shang Dan Tian ^Upper Dan Tian. Located at the third eye, it is the residence of the Shen 
(spirit). 

Shang dynasty M &A Chinese dynasty from 1766-1 154 B.C. 

Shang Huo L LMeans the body is “on fire.” This means the Qi is too sufficient in the body which 
makes the body on fire (i.e. too positive). 

Shang Jiao &Upper Burner. One of the Triple Burners in Chinese medicine. The Upper Burner 
covers the area between the throat and the solar plexus. 

Shaolin '}' tfYoung woods. Name of the Shaolin Temple. 

Shaolin Temple jktt^A monastery located in Henan Province, China. The Shaolin Temple is well 
known because of its martial arts training. 

Shaoyang 9 FSLesser Yang. Terminology used in Chinese acupuncture. 

Shaoyin >’$ Lesser Yin. Terminology used in Chinese acupuncture. 

Shen ^Spirit. According to Chinese Qigong, the Shen resides at the Upper Dan Tian (the third eye). 
Shen i?Deep. 

Shen Bu Shou She # ^ ^The spirit is not kept at its residence. This implies not being able to 

concentrate, or a scattered mind. 

Shen Hui # t’One of the Seven Ancestors of Chan. Shen Hui was recognized and became as seventh 
ancestor during the Tang dynasty of Kai Yuan, 713-742 A.D. 

Shen Hun 7+ 1 ^Spiritual soul. 

Shen Ming *+ ^Spiritual divine. 

Shen Qi Xiang He # t^The Shen and the Qi are combined. The final stage of regulating the Shen. 


Shen Xi t+ ^Spirit breathing. The stage of Qigong training where the spirit is coordinated with the 
breathing. 

Shen Xi Xiang Yi # -Mb f&The Shen and breathing mutually rely on each other. A stage in Qigong 
practice. 


Shen Xian # 'MVleans “Immortal.” 



Shen Xin Ping Heng # f - StBody and heart (mind) balanced. The balance of the physical body and 
mental body. 

Shen Zhi Bu Qing ?+ & T* ifrMeans “The spirit and the will (generated from Yi) are not clear.” The 
mind is confused and not steady. 

Shen Zhi # ^Spiritual will. Shen (spirit) and Zhi (will) together, because they are related. 

Sheng Tai £JfcHoly embryo. Another name for the spiritual embryo (Shen Tai). 

Shenshu (B-23) An acupuncture cavity belonging to the Bladder Qi Channel. 

Shi Er Jing +—®The Twelve Primary Qi Channels in Chinese medicine. 

Shi Er Zhuang d*— ^Twelve Postures. A style of Qigong practice created during the Qing dynasty. 

Shi Ji tfcHistorical Record. A book written in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, 
770-221 B.C. 

Shi Jia # ^Literally, “Sakyamuni family.” Since Buddhism was created by Sakyamuni, it means 
Buddhism. 

Shi Qi £ ft-Food Qi. Qi converted from food. 

Shou Shen ^ifTo keep the mind at the spirit. A Qigong meditation training. 

Shu fcCount. 

Shu Xi tt 4Count the breaths. 

Shuang Xiu It if Double cultivation. A Qigong training method in which Qi is exchanged with a 
partner in order to balance the Qi in both people. 

Shui Lu 1-^Water Path. A meditation path in which the Qi is led upward through spinal cord to 
nourish the brain. 

Shui Qi + ft. Water Qi. Qi created from Original Essence, which is able to calm your body. 

Si Da Jie Kong ® ^ % £Four large are empty. A stage of Buddhism where all of the four elements 
(earth, water, fire, and air) are absent from the mind so that one is completely indifferent to worldly 
temptations. 

Si Qi JE-ftDead Qi. The Qi remaining in a dead body. Sometimes called “Ghost Qi” (Gui Qi). 

Song dynasty S^A dynasty in Chinese history from 960-1279 A.D. 

Southern Song dynasty rft ^ After the Song dynasty was conquered by the Jin race from Mongolia, 
the Song people moved to the south and established another country, called Southern Song, 1127- 



1279 A.D. 


Su Wen ■£ s*1A medical book. The complete name of the book is Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen (The 
Yellow Emperor’s Classic). This book was written by Ling Shu during the Han dynasty, circa 100- 
300 B.C. 

Suan Ming Shi ^ ^Literally, “Calculate life teacher.” A fortune teller who is able to calculate your 
future and destiny. 

Sui ftFollow. 

Sui dynasty ^A dynasty in China during the period of 581-618 A.D. 

Sui Xi ft &To follow the breathing. A technique for regulating the mind. 

Sui Xi ft &Sui means the marrow or brain. Therefore, Sui Xi means the Qigong breathing technique 
which is able to lead the Qi to the bone marrow and brain. 

Sun, Si-Mao ft & StA well-known Chinese physician and Qigong master who wrote the book Qian 
Jin Fang (Thousand Gold Prescriptions) during the Sui and Tang dynasties, 581-907 A.D. 

Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) $-A Chinese internal martial style based on the theory of Taiji (Grand 
Ultimate). 

Tai Shang Lao Jun jkd^j&Old Lord of the Ultimate. The religious title of Lao Zi by religious 
Daoists. 


Tai Xi ^.-Embryonic Breathing. One of the final goals in regulating the breath, Embryo Breathing 
enables you to generate a “baby Shen” at the Huang Ting (yellow yard). 

Taiji ;k#Means “Grand Ultimate.” It is this force that generates two poles, Yin and Yang. 

Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) k & &A Chinese internal martial style which is based on the theory of 
Taiji (Grand Ultimate). 

Taiyang *, ^Greater Yang. A special terminology used in acupuncture. 

Taiyang martial stylists school of Chinese martial arts which practices Huo Long Gong (Fire 

Dragon Gong) Qigong training. 

Taiyin k ^Greater Yin. A special terminology used in acupuncture. 

Taizuquan 4A. style of Chinese external martial arts. 

Tang dynasty & $A dynasty in Chinese history from 618-907 A.D. 

Tao, Hong-Jin ft £A well-known physician and Qigong master who compiled the book Yang Shen 



Yan Ming Lu (Records of Nourishing the Body and Extending Life) during 420 to 581 A.D. 

Ti Xi ft &Body breathing or skin breathing. In Qigong, the exchanging of Qi with the surrounding 
environment through the skin. 

Ti Zhen Zhi ft &jtTo Comprehend the Real and Stop Method. One of the methods used to regulate 
the mind in Qigong meditation. 

Tian ^Heaven or sky. In ancient China, people believed that Heaven was the most powerful natural 
energy in this universe. 

Tian Qi £&Heaven Qi. It is now commonly used to mean the weather, since weather is governed by 
Heaven Qi. 

Tian Ren He Yi —Literally, “Heaven and man unified as one.” A high level of Qigong practice 
in which a Qigong practitioner, through meditation, is able to communicate his Qi with heaven’s Qi. 

Tian Shi “^Heavenly timing. The repeated natural cycles generated by the heavens such as: seasons, 
months, days and hours. 

Tiao Jing $ttTo regulate the essence. 

Tiao Qi &To regulate the Qi. 

Tiao Shen #1 #To regulate the body. 

Tiao Shen ft#To regulate the spirit. 

Tiao Xi ST &To regulate the breathing. 

Tiao Xin #1 '^’To regulate the emotional mind. 

Tie Bu Shan # Iron shirt. Gongfu training that toughens the body externally and internally. 

Tie Sha Zhang 4’Lite rally , “Iron sand palm.” A special martial arts conditioning for the palms. 

Ting ^Listen. 

Ting Xi ££-4l’To Listen to the Breathing. A technique for regulating the mind. If you are able to pay 
attention to your breathing, your mind will not be distracted by surrounding activities. 

Tong Guan *4 MTo pass through the gates. In Qigong training, the opening of blockages (gates) that 
hinder the free flow of Qi through the channels. 

Tong Ren Yu Xue Zhen Jiu Tu £ Sttllustration of the Brass Man Acupuncture and 

Moxibustion. An acupuncture book written by Dr. Wang, Wei-Yi during the Song dynasty. 

Tong San Guan i4-=.£Means “To get through the three gates.” A special terminology used in Small 



Circulation. 


Tu Na ’i^o utter and to take in. An alternative name of Qigong. 

Tui Na # I^Means “To push and grab.” A category of Chinese massages for healing and injury 
treatment. 


Wai Dan J h fl’External elixir. External Qigong exercises in which a practitioner will build up the Qi in 
his limbs and then lead it into the center of the body for nourishment. 

Wai Gong ^External Gongfu. Gongfu that emphasizes the physical body training. 

Wai Shen ^External Kidneys. The testicles. 

Wai Tai Mi Yao ^ £ & -£The Extra Important Secret. A Chinese medical book written by Wang Tao 
during the Sui and Tang dynasties, 581-907 A.D. This book discusses the use of breathing and herbal 
therapies for disorders of Qi circulation. 

Wang Tao i &A well-known Chinese physician and Qigong master who wrote the book Wai Tai Mi 
Yao (The Extra Important Secret) during the Sui and Tang dynasties, 581-907 A.D. 

Wang, Fan-An & i*.£A well-known Chinese physician who wrote the book Yi Fan Ji Jie (The Total 
Introduction to Medical Prescriptions) during the Qing dynasty. 

Wang, Wei-Yi £*£ —A well-known Chinese physician who wrote the book Tong Ren Yu Xue Zhen 
Jiu Tu (Illustration of the Brass Man Acupuncture and Moxibustion) during the Song dynasty. 

Wang, Zu-Yuan Y^^.A well-known Chinese physician who wrote the book Nei Gong Tu Shuo 
(Illustrated Explanation of Nei Gong) during the Qing dynasty. 

Wei Qi flT&Protective Qi or Guardian Qi. The Qi at the surface of the body that generates a shield to 
protect the body from negative external influences such as colds. 

Wei, Bo-Yang Itf&F&A well-known physician who wrote the book Zhou Yi Can Tong Qi (A 
Comparative Study of the Zhou dynasty Book of Changes) during the Qin and Han dynasties, 221 
B.C.-220 A.D. 

Wilson Chen tf 1 - A l+Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming’s friend. 

Wu Nian Zhi Nian £ fcMeans “The thought of no thought.” The final stage of regulating the 
mind. 

Wu Qi Cho Yuan lift xEive Qi(s) toward origins. A goal of Qigong wherein the Qi of the five Yin 
organs (Heart, Lungs, Liver, Kidneys, and Spleen) is kept at the right (original) level. This will keep 
the organs from being either too Yang or too Yin, and will slow the degeneration process. 

Wu Qin Shi i&&Five Animal Sports. A set of medical Qigong practices created by Jun Qing during 



the Jin dynasty, 265-420 A.D. 


Wu Xin JE-'H Five centers. The face, the Laogong cavities on both palms, and the Yongquan cavities 
on the bottoms of both feet. 

Wu Xing .t-ifFive phases. Also called the Five elements. Metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, 
represent the five phases of any process. 

Wu, Shou-Yang (1552-1640 A.D.) S£?fl&A Chinese Qigong master who lived during the late Ming 
and early Qing dynasties. 

Wudang Mountain At ^Located in Fubei Province in China. 

Wuji & UiMeans “No extremity.” 

Wuji Qigong ft^A style of Taiji Qigong practice. 

Wushu ^Literally, “Martial techniques.” A common name for the Chinese martial arts. Many other 
terms are used, including: Wuyi (martial arts), Wugong (martial Gongfu), Guoshu (national 
techniques), and Gongfu (energy-time). Because Wushu has been modified in mainland China over 
the past forty years into gymnastic martial performance, many traditional Chinese martial artist have 
given up this name in order to avoid confusing modern Wushu with traditional Wushu. Recently, 
mainland China has attempted to return modern Wushu to its traditional training and practice. 

Xi ficS lender. 

Xi 4-Happiness and delight. 

Xi Sui Jing &#l ^Literally, “Washing Marrow/Brain Classic,” usually translated “Marrow/Brain 
Washing Classic.” A Qigong training that specializes in leading Qi to the marrow to cleanse it or to 
the brain to nourish the spirit for enlightenment. It is believed that Xi Sui Jing training is the key to 
longevity and spiritual enlightenment. 

Xi Yuan Zhi #JfcjtTie to the Origin and Stop Method. One of the methods used to regulate the mind. 

Xia Dan Tian T It fLower Dan Tian. Located in the lower abdomen, it is believed to be the residence 
of Water Qi (Original Qi). 

Xia Jiao T ftLower Burner. The lower abdomen is called the Lower Burner. 

Xian iJrAn immortal. A person who has attained enlightenment or Buddhahood, whose spirit can 
separate from and returned to his physical body at will. 

Xian Tai & fcHoly Embryo. 

Xian Tian Qi fcA ^Pre-Birth Qi or Pre-Heaven Qi. Also called Dan Tian Qi. The Qi that is converted 
from Original Essence and is stored in the Lower Dan Tian. Considered to be “Water Qi,” it is able 
to calm the body. 



Xiao ^Filial Piety. 


Xiao Zhou Tian FA ^Literally, “Small heavenly cycle.” Also called “Small Circulation.” In Qigong, 
when you can use your mind to lead Qi through the Conception and Governing Vessels, you have 
completed “Xiao Zhou Tian.” 

Xin idVIeans “Heart.” Xin means the mind generated from emotional disturbance. 

Xin ISTrust. 

Xin Nian ■**’ ^Emotional mind-thought. The thought generated from the emotional mind. 

Xin Shen ^Literally, “Heart-spirit.” This refers to the emotional mind that affects or is affected by 
Shen. 

Xin Shen Bu Ning # T* ^Means “The (emotional) mind and spirit are not peaceful.” A scattered 
mind. 

Xin Xi Xiang Yi .&- +n tMIeart (mind) and breathing (are) mutually dependent. 

Xin Yi "-'^Literally, “Heart (emotional mind)- Yi (wisdom mind).” This denotes the mind generated 
from both emotion and thought. 

Xin Yuan Yi Ma flrLiterally, “Heart monkey Yi horse.” Xin (heart) is used to represent the 
emotional mind that acts like a monkey, unsteady and disturbing. Yi is the mind that is generated 
from calm and clear thinking and judgment (i.e. wisdom mind). The Yi is like a horse, calm and 
powerful. 

Xing viHuman Nature. 

Xing Ming Shuang Xiu l*^l£$Human nature life double cultivation. Originally a Buddhist, though 
now predominantly Daoist approach to Qigong emphasizing the cultivation of both spirituality 
(human nature) and the physical body. 

Xingyiquan (Hsing Yi Chuan) U & ^-Literally, “Shape-mind Fist.” An internal style of Gongfu in 
which the mind or thinking determines the shape or movement of the body. Creation of the style is 
attributed to Marshal Yue Fei. 

Xinzhu Xian -ii ft ftf-Birthplace of Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming in Taiwan. 

Xiu Qi fj- ^.Cultivate the Qi. Cultivate implies to protect, maintain and refine. A Buddhist Qigong 
training. 

Xiu Shen Si Ming $ # & #Means “Cultivate the body and await destiny.” 

Xu Wu £ &Means “Nothing.” 

Xue ^Literally, “Cave or Hole.” An acupuncture cavity. 



Yan Gao Shou Di ^ -J- ©.Literally, “The eyes are high and the hands are low.” That means 
expectations are higher than accomplishments. 

Yan Luo Wang fei # iKing of Hell. Title of the King in Hell. 

Yang Flln Chinese philosophy, the active, positive, masculine polarity. In Chinese medicine, Yang 
means excessive, overactive, overheated. The Yang (or outer) organs are the Gall Bladder, Small 
Intestine, Large Intestine, Stomach, Bladder, and Triple Burner. 

Yang ^-Itching. 

Yang Qi 4-^Means “To cultivate the Qi.” 

Yang Shen 'fcf+Yang means “To raise, nourish, and maintain.” Shen means “Spirit.” Yang Shen is 
the main Buddhist approach to regulating the Shen. 

Yang Shen Fu Yu & &Brief Introduction to Nourishing the Body. A book written by Chen, Ji-Ru 
during the Qing dynasty. 

Yang Shen Jue A&Life Nourishing Secrets. A medical book written by Zhang, An-Dao during the 
Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties, 960-1368 A.D. 

Yang Shen Yan Ming Lu 4 ^Records of Nourishing the Body and Extending Life. A Chinese 
medical book written by Dao, Hong-Jing in the period of 420 to 581 A.D. 

Yang, Jwing-Ming $ ft Author of this book. 

Yang, Tim Chun-Chieh IS ft ^Author’s brother. 

Yangchiao Mai MrftJI&Yang Heel Vessel. One of the eight Qi vessels. 

Yangming P# flYang Brightness. A special terminology used in acupuncture. 

Yangwei Mai F&tft&Yang Linking Vessel. One of the eight vessels. 

Yi £Mind. Specifically, the mind generated by clear thinking and judgment, and which is able to 
make you calm, peaceful, and wise. 

Yi ^Justice or righteousness. 

Yi ^Ripple. 

Yi Fan Ji Jie 4bThe Total Introduction to Medical Prescriptions. A Chinese medical book 
written by Wang, Fan-An in the Qing dynasty. 

Yi Jin Jing Hr SS ^Literally, “Changing muscle/tendon classic,” usually called The Muscle/Tendon 
Changing Classic. Credited to Da Mo around 550 A.D., this work discusses Wai Dan Qigong 
training for strengthening the physical body. 



Yi Jing h f^Book of Changes. A book of divination written during the Zhou dynasty (1122-255 
B.C.). 

Yi Jing Hua Qi ® It HMeans “To convert the Jing (essence) into Qi.” 

Yi Nian £ ^Literally, “Wisdom mind-thought.” That means the thought generated from wise clear 
thinking. 

Yi Qi Hua Shen & Rftrf Means “To nourish the Shen (spirit) with Qi.” 

Yi Shen Yu Qi &Use the Shen (spirit) to govern the Qi. A Qigong technique. Since the Shen is 
the headquarters for the Qi, it is the most effective way to control it. 

Yi Shi ^i^Literally, “Yi recognize.” To use the Yi (wisdom mind) to sense and understand a 
situation. In order to do this, your Yi must search for information, evaluate it, and then reach a final 
decision. Yi Shi is similar to “sense” in English; however, Yi Shi is more active and aggressive. 

Yi Shou Dan Tian & ft ®Keep your Yi on your Lower Dan Tian. In Qigong training, you keep your 
mind at the Lower Dan Tian in order to build up Qi. When you are circulating your Qi, you always 
lead your Qi back to your Lower Dan Tian before you stop. 

Yi Xin Hui Yi & % &Means “Modulate the Xin (emotional mind) to match the Yi (wisdom mind).” 
Yi Yi Hui Shen w & ^ £Means “Use your Yi to meet the body.” 

Yi Yi Yin Qi ^ £ 51 #UJse your Yi (wisdom mind) to lead your Qi. A Qigong technique. Qi cannot be 
pushed, but it can be led. This is best done with the Yi. 

Yi Zhi & &Will. Yi is commonly used together with will. 

Yin ftln Chinese philosophy, the passive, negative, feminine polarity. In Chinese medicine, Yin 
means deficient. The Yin (internal) organs are the Heart, Lungs, Liver, Kidneys, Spleen, and 
Pericardium. 

Yin Xu Att&An archeological site of the late Shang dynasty burial ground. 

Yinchiao Mai ftfjUftThe Yin Heel Vessel. One of the eight vessels. 

Ying Gong ^#Hard Gongfu. Any Chinese martial training which emphasizes physical strength and 
power. 

Ying Qi % ^Managing Qi. The Qi that manages the functioning of the organs and the body. 

Yinwei Mai ft $ftfl&Yin Linking Vessel. One of the eight vessels. 


Yongquan (K-l) if ^-Bubbling Well. Name of an acupuncture cavity belonging to the Kidney 
Primary Qi Channel. 



You &Long, far, meditative, continuous, slow and soft. 


Yu SDesire. 

Yu Huang Da Di -i % k 4'The Supreme Deity. A Daoist title of the heaven emperor who rules heaven 
and earth. 

Yuan dynasty XjAA Chinese dynasty from 1206-1367 A.D. 

Yuan Jing A- ^Original Essence. The fundamental, original substance you inherited from your 
parents. It is converted into Original Qi. 

Yuan Qi & ^Original Qi. The Qi created from the Original Essence inherited from your parents. 
Yuan Qiao ^Original key point. Key points to the training. 

Yuan Shen C i+Original Shen. 

Yuan Shi Tian Zun *.£The Primal Celestial Excellency. A Daoist deity. 

Yue Fei j&A Chinese hero from the Southern Song dynasty, 1127-1279 A.D. He is said to have 
created Ba Duan Jin, Xingyiquan and Yue’s Ying Zhua. 

Yun ^Uniform or even. 

Zai Jie Pai :fi.I£$.Plant and Graft Division. A division of Daoist Qigong training. 

Zang ^.Viscera. The six Yin organs. Five of these are considered the core of the entire human system 
— the Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lungs, and Kidneys. Usually, when a discussion involves the channels 
and all the organs, the Pericardium is added; otherwise it is treated as an adjunct of the Heart. 

Zen StMeans “To endure.” The Japanese name of Chan. 

Zhang, An-Dao $ft£i£A well-known Chinese physician and Qigong master who wrote the book, 
Yang Shen Jue (Life Nourishing Secrets), during the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties, 960-1368 A.D. 

Zhang, Dao-Ling # & &A Daoist who combined scholarly Daoism with Buddhist philosophies and 
created Religious Daoism (Dao Jiao) during the Chinese Eastern Han dynasty, 25-221 A.D. 

Zhang, Zhong-Jing $Mt£A well-known Chinese physician who wrote the book, Jin Kui Yao Lue 
(Prescriptions from the Golden Chamber), during the Qin and Han dynasties, 221 B.C.-220 A.D. 

Zhang, Zi-He f£-rL*A well-known Chinese physician who wrote the book, Ru Men Shi Shi (The 
Confucian Point of View), during the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties, 960-1368 A.D. 

Zhen Xi & 4-The real breathing. That means the breathing has been regulated to a deep and profound 
level. 



Zheng Fu Hu Xi ^Formal Abdominal Breathing. More commonly called Buddhist Breathing. 

Zheng Qi £ HRighteous Qi. When a person is righteous, it is said that he has righteous Qi which evil 
Qi cannot overcome. 

Zhi ii,Stop. 

Zhi Guan Fa jfc. & £Stop and Look Method. One of the methods used to regulate the mind. 

Zhi Nian Fa jt ^Methods of Stopping Thought. One of the methods used to regulate the mind. 

Zhi Nian it&Means “To stop the old thought from coming back.” 

Zhi Xin Zhi V , ^Restrain the Xin and Stop Method. One of the methods used to regulate the mind. 
Zhong ^Loyalty. 

Zhong f Heavy. 

Zhong Dan Tian + fl- ^Middle Dan Tian. Located in the area of the solar plexus, it is the residence of 
fire Qi. 

Zhong Guan + &The Centered Look. A Qigong method for regulating the mind. 

Zhong Jiao ¥ ^Middle Burner. One of the Triple Burners. 

Zhou dynasty ^A dynasty in China from 1 122-934 B.C. 

Zhou Yi Can Tong Qi J51 # W lHA Comparative Study of the Zhou (dynasty) Book of Changes. A 
medical and Qigong book written by Wei, Bo-Yang during the Qin and Han dynasties, 221 B.C.- 
220 A.D. 

Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun ^Thesis on the Origins and Symptoms of Various Diseases. A 

Chinese medical book written by Chao, Yuan-Fang during the Sui and Tang dynasties, 581-907 A.D. 

Zhu, Dan-Xi 4-^ ^A well-known Chinese physician who wrote the book, Ge Zhi Yu Lun (A Further 
Thesis of Complete Study), during the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties, 960-1368 A.D. 

Zhuan Qi Zhi Rou 4 ItMeans “Concentrate on Qi and achieve softness.” A famous sentence 
written in Lao Zi’s Dao De Jing. 

Zhuang Zhou £ 1HA contemporary of Mencius who advocated Daoism. 

Zhuang Zi # Zhuang Zhou. A contemporary of Mencius who advocated Daoism. Zhuang Zi also 
means “The works of Zhuang Zhou.” 

Zi Wu Liu Zhu ^ & ^Zi refers to the period around midnight (11:00 P.M. - 1:00 A.M.), and Wu 
refers to midday (11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.). Liu Zhu means “The flowing tendency.” Therefore: a 



schedule of the Qi circulation showing which channel has the predominant Qi flow at any particular 
time, and where the predominant Qi flow is in the Conception and Governing Vessels. 

Zou Huo Ru Mo A A&Walk into the fire and enter into the devil. In Qigong training, if you have 
led your Qi into the wrong path it is called “walking into the fire,” and if your mind has been led into 
a confused state, it is called “entering into the devil.” 



Index 



acupuncture 



Ba Chu 


Ba Duan Jin 
Baihui 
Bi Xi 
Bian Que 
Bian Shi 
bladder 
bone marrow 
breathing 

-abdominal breathing 
-Buddhist breathing 
-Daoist breathing 


-reverse abdominal breathing 



Cao, Yuan-Bai 


Chan (Ren) 

Chan Zong 
Chan Zong Liu Zu 
Chan Zong Qi Zu 
channels 

Chao, Yuan-Fang 
Chen, Ji-Ru 
Cheng, Gin-Gsao 
Chi (Qi) 

Chi Kung (Qigong) 
Chong Mai 
Chu Gan 

Conception Vessel 
Confucius 


Cong Nei Zhu Ji 



Da Mo 


Da Shou Yin 
Da Zhou Tian 
Dai Mai 

Dan Ding Dao Gong 
Dan Tian 
-Upper 
-Middle 
-Lower 
Dan Tian Qi 
Dao 

Dao De Jing 
Dao Jia 
Dao Jiao 
Dao Xin 
Di 

Di Li Shi 
Di Qi 

Dian Mai (Dim Mak) 
Dian Qi 
Dian Xue 

Dian Xue massages 


Diao 



Dim Mak (Dian Mai) 


Ding Shen 
Dong (Moving) 

Dong (Understanding) 
Dong Chu 
Dong Mian Fa 
Dong, Hai-Chuan 
Du Mai 



Earth 


Eastern Han dynasty 
eight extraordinary vessels 
Eight Pieces of Brocade 
Eight Trigrams 
electromagnetic field 
Emei 

Emei Da Peng Gong 
emotional mind 
essence 
Essence Shen 



Fan 


Fan Fu Hu Xi 
FanXi 

Fen Sui Xu Kong 
Feng Lu 
Feng Shui Shi 
Fengchi (GB-20) 
Field of Elixir 
Fire 

Fire Path 
Fire Qi 

Five Elements 
Five Phases 
Fo Jia (Fo Jiao) 
Fu (Bowels) 


Fu Xi 



gall bladder 

Gilbert, William 

Girdle Vessel (also Belt Vessel) 

Golden Bell Cover 

Gong Shou 

Gongfu (Kung Fu) 

Governing Vessel 

Grand Circulation 

Gu Sui 

Guan 

Guan Xi 

Guan Xin 

Gui 

Gui Qi 

Gui Xi 


Guoshu 



Ha (sound) 


Han dynasty 
heart 

Hen (sound) 

Hou Tian Qi 

Hsing Yi Chuan (Xingyiquan) 
Huang Di 
Huiyin (Co-1) 

Huo Lu (Fire Path) 

Huo Qi (Fire Qi) 

Huo Qi (Living Qi) 



Iron Sand Palm 


Iron Shirt 



Jia Gu Wen 


Jin dynasty 
Jin Zhong Zhao 
Jing (regulated) 
Jing (essence) 
Jing (channels) 
Jing Qi 
Jing Shen 
Jing Xi 
Jing Zi 
Jingmen 


Jueyin 



kidneys 
Kong Qi 

Kung Fu (Gongfu) 
Kuoshu (Guoshu) 



Lao Zi 


Laogong (P-8) 

large intestine 

Liang dynasty 

Liu He Ba Fa 

liver 

lungs 

Luo 



Ma Bu 


Mai 

magnetic field 

massage 

Mencius 

meridians 

Metal 

Middle Burner 
Ming dynasty 
Mingmen (Gv-4) 



Nei Dan 


Nei Gong 
Nei Shen 
Nei Shi Gongfu 



organs 


Original Essence 
Original Qi 



pericardium 
Post-birth Qi 
Pre-birth Qi 



Qi 

Qi Huo 

Qi Jing Ba Mai 
Qi Mai 

Qi Qing Liu Yu 
Qi Xi 

Qigong (Chi Kung) 
Qigong An Mo 
Qihai (Co-6) 

Qin dynasty, 

Qin Na (Chin Na), 


Qing dynasty 



Re Qi 


Ren (Man or mankind) 
Ren (Humanity) 

Ren Mai 
Ren Qi 
reservoirs 
Ru Jia 



San Bao 


San Ben 
San Cai 
San Gong 
San Yuan 
Sanjiao 

Seven Ancestors of Chan 
Shang Dan Tian 
Shang dynasty 
Shang Jiao 
Shaolin 

Shaolin Temple 
Shaoyang 
Shaoyin 
Shen (Spirit) 

Shen Xi 
Sheng Tai 
Shenshu (B-23) 

Shi Er Zhuang 
Shi Ji 
Shi Qi 
Shuang Xiu 


Shui Lu 



Shui Qi 


Si Qi 

Six Ancestors of Chan 

skin breathing 

Small Circulation 

small intestine 

Song dynasty 

Southern Song dynasty 

spirit 

spleen 

stomach 

stone probes 

Su Wen (Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen) 


Suan Ming Shi 



TaiXi 


Taiji 

Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) 

Taiyang 

Taiyin 

Taizuquan 

Tang dynasty 

Three Treasures 

Thrusting Vessel 

Ti Xi 

Tian Qi 

Tiao Jing 

Tiao Qi 

Tiao Shen 

Tiao Xi 

Tiao Xin 

Tie Bu Shan 

Tie Sha Zhang 


triple burner 



Wai Dan 


Wai Gong 
Wai Shen 
Water 
Water Path 
Water Qi 
Wei Qi 
White Crane 
Wind Path 
wisdom mind 
Wood 

Wu Nian Zhi Nian 
Wu Xing 
Wuji 


Wuji Qigong 



Xi Sui Jing 


Xia Dan Tian 
Xia Jiao 
Xian Tian Qi 
Xiao Zhou Tian 
Xin (Heart) 

Xin 

XinYi 

Xingyiquan (Hsing Yi Chuan) 
Xue 



Yang 

Yang Heel Vessel 
Yang Linking Vessel 
Yang Shen Fu Yu 
Yang Shen Jue 
Yang Shen Yan Ming Lu 
Yangming 
Yangwei Mai 
Yi (Mind) 

Yi Fan Ji Jie 
Yi Jin Jing 
Yi Jing 
YiZhi 
Yin 

Yin Heel Vessel 
Yin Linking Vessel 
Yin Xu 
Yinchiao Mai 
Ying Qi 
Yinwei Mai 
Yongquan (K-l) 

Yuan Jing 


Yuan Qi 



Yuan Qiao 


Yuan Shen 
Yuan Shi Tian Zun 
Yue Fei 
Yun 



Zai Jie Pai 


Zen 

Zhang, An-Dao 
Zhang, Dao-Ling 
Zhang, Zhong-Jing 
Zhang, Zi-He 
Zhen Xi 

Zheng Fu Hu Xi 
Zhi 

Zhi Guan Fa 
Zhi Nian Fa 
Zhi Nian 
Zhi Xin Zhi 
Zhong (Loyalty) 

Zhong (Heavy) 

Zhong Dan Tian 

Zhong Guan 

Zhong Jiao 

Zhou dynasty 

Zhou Yi Can Tong Qi 

Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun 

Zhu, Dan-Xi 


Zhuan Qi Zhi Rou 



Zhuang Zhou 
Zhuang Zi 
Zi Wu Liu Zhu 
Zou Huo Ru Mo 



Also by Dr. Yang. . . 



UNDERSTANDING QIGONG — 1 

What is Qigong? • The Human Qi Circulatory System-DVD 

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming 

In this program, renowned Qigong expert and author, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, explains the concepts 
of Qigong and the human energetic circulatory system. Dr. Yang’s systematic approach to teaching 
offers deep insight into the subject of Qigong with modern scientific data to support his theory from 
both Eastern and Western perspectives. 

Drawing on his 35 years of training in Qigong and his Western scientific background in Physics and 
Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Yang presents a clear and fascinating explanation of his Qigong theory, 
and offers a simple Qigong exercise for students to begin experiencing their Qi. This program is a 
must for Qigong practitioners, acupuncturists, energy healers, and anyone interested in 
understanding exactly of how and why Qigong works. 264 minutes • DVD-NTSC • all regions Code: 
D069X • ISBN: 1-59439-069-X 


£TVi> SKILL LEVEL 
® ® ® 



QIGONG, THE SECRET OF YOUTH — 

Da Mo’s Muscle Tendon and Marrow Brain Washing Classics 
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming 

For over 1,000 years. Da Mo’s Classics have been considered the key to enlightenment and 
longevity. Using ancient Buddhist and Taoist documents as its foundation, this book discusses the 
theory & training methods in a modern, scientific manner. An invaluable guide for advanced Qigong 
practitioners who want to explore deeper levels of Qigong. A classic Qigong book. 304 pages • 90 
illus. 

Code: B841 • ISBN: 1-886969-84-1 


£JVt> SKILL LEVEL 

« ®0® 





QIGONG MEDITATION — Small Circulation 
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming 

Small Circulation, or the Microcosmic Orbit, is the practice of circulating energy, within the human 
body, Qi, through the two main pathways, or “vessels” of the body. This practice is considered to be 
the foundation of Internal Elixir Qigong, and was a fundamental step on the path of meditation 
training in ancient times. 

This book contains translation and analysis of many ancient documents used to transmit Small 
Circulation and Internal Elixir cultivation to future generations, and offers modern scientific 
explanation for learning and training safely. Though meditation is popular today for relaxation and 
general health, the ultimate goal of this training, in both Daoism (Taoism) and Buddhism, is spiritual 
enlightenment. 360 pages • 173 illus. 

Code: B0673 • ISBN: 1-59439-067-3 



SKILL LEVEL 
©® ® 



UNDERSTANDING QIGONG — 5 
Small Circulation 

180 minutes • DYD-NTSC • all regions Code: D0753 • ISBN: 978-1-59439-075-3 

iTYll skillTevelI 

'K\ J © ® ®> 1